Poll: Iowa Democrats like Biden for 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds the pole position in the first CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll among likely 2020 Democratic caucusgoers, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke joining him as the only possible candidates in the field with double-digit support.

Posted: Dec 17, 2018 8:28 AM
Updated: Dec 17, 2018 8:50 AM

We have the first look at the state of play in Iowa in advance of the caucuses -- which will kick off the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in roughly a year's time.

The obvious lesson is that -- at this early stage -- being well-known is the key. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the clear number one choice at 32% -- and he, along with independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are the two best-known candidates to Iowa Democrats, with only 4% unsure of their opinion about each of the two men.

But aside from the topline, what should we take away from the poll? Here are my first observations.

1. Beto is in prime position

The Texas congressman, who lost a Senate race to Ted Cruz earlier this year, is in third place in the ballot test -- 11% and the only person other than Biden and Sanders in double digits -- but he has considerable room to grow. More than one in three Iowa caucusgoers don't know enough about O'Rourke to offer an opinion about him. That's good for O'Rourke because it suggests he's nowhere close to maxing out his support.

2. Hillary is a non-starter

There is some chatter within the Democratic Party that Clinton, who has run for president twice before unsuccessfully, might try one more time. This poll suggests that Democrats simply are not pining for her to run. More Democrats view her unfavorably (49%) than view her favorably (47%). But it gets worse! More than one in five (22%) have a "very" unfavorable view of Clinton while 26% have a mostly unfavorable view. Just 17% have a "very" favorable view. But it gets even worse. Almost three-quarters -- 72% -- think she would detract more than she would add to the race. Reminder: This is among Democrats! Not good.

3. Democrats l-o-v-e Michelle Obama

Three quarters of Democrats (76%) believe Michelle Obama would add to the 2020 race while just 22% believe she would detract. To be clear: The former first lady has said, on any number of occasions, she's not running. ("I don't want to be president," she said earlier this year. "I don't think I should be president. I think I can do a lot of things, but that's not one of them." What this poll shows is that if she ran, she wold be a top-tier candidate automatically.

4. Known quantity beats fresh face

One of the central questions of the 2020 primary for Democrats is whether they will choose someone like Biden, who has been around politics for his entire adult life, or a newer face to the process like, say, California Sen. Kamala Harris or O'Rourke. Somewhat surprisingly, almost half of Democratic caucusgoers said they preferred a "seasoned hand" while just 36% said they wanted a "newcomer." Of course, what someone means by "newcomer'" or "seasoned hand" is in the eye of the beholder and can change between now and next January.

5. Pragmatism is king ... because of Trump

A majority of likely Democratic caucusgoers -- 54% -- said they preferred that the winner of the 2020 Iowa caucuses would be "a candidate,...with a strong chance of beating Donald Trump" while 40% said they wanted a candidate who "shares your positions on major issues." It's hard not to see the specter of Trump in that question; Democrats badly want Trump out, and their preferred candidate is whoever can beat Trump.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
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Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
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Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
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Jackson206033
Morgan200643
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Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
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Martin3485
Brown3263
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Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
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