Polling News

An Early Look At The 2020 Democratic Field

January 03, 2019

The 2020 Democratic presidential primary field may be one of the largest in history, but most Democratic voters want “someone entirely new” to run in 2020, according to a recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll.   

Fifty-nine percent of registered Democrats and Independents said they would be “excited” about someone entirely new running for the nomination in 2020, making it the top choice.  Joe Biden was next in line, as 53% of voters said they would be excited if he ran, while only 24% said he should not run, a net positive of 29-points.  Robert Francis O’Rourke had a net positive of 17-points, as 30% said they would be excited if the former Congressman threw his hat into the ring, while just 13% said he should not run.  Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar were also in positive territory, although by smaller margins.  Twenty-nine percent of voters said they would be excited for Sen. Harris to run, while 19% said she should not (net positive 10 points); 28% said they would be excited for Sen. Booker, while 19% said he should not run (net positive nine points); and 15% said they would be excited for Sen. Klobuchar, while 13% said she should not run (net positive two points).  All three have room to grow, as 34%, 29%, and 54% said they did not know Senators Harris, Booker, and Klobuchar, respectively.  O’Rourke likewise has room to grow, considering 35% said they have never heard of him.    

However, more well-known party leaders did not do as well.  Only 36% of voters said they would be excited about Sen. Bernie Sanders, but more voters (41%) said he should not run, a net-negative of five points.  Only 27% of voters said they would be excited for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but 33% said she should not run, a net negative of six points.  If the 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton, were to try to run again, she would have a tough battle.  Only 15% of voters said they would be excited if she ran, compared to 70% who said she should not run, a net negative of 55-points.

There are months to go before the Democratic field firms up and candidates not even on the radar may come into play.  For example, at this point in 2015, former Gov. Jeb Bush led the Republican field with 23% in a CNN poll and Donald Trump was not even included in the line-up.  But if Suffolk’s numbers offer any insight into the coming fight, Democratic voters are restless and looking for someone to shake things up.

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