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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 7:50 AM
Updated: Dec 17, 2018 7:50 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64400

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5416112
DeSoto347227
Madison236360
Harrison228735
Rankin220231
Jackson215641
Jones182857
Forrest170155
Washington154835
Lauderdale137990
Lee129732
Neshoba126490
Lamar117713
Oktibbeha107737
Lowndes102333
Bolivar101032
Warren99531
Scott97820
Panola96012
Sunflower94223
Copiah92928
Lafayette90714
Leflore88261
Pike86133
Holmes85948
Grenada81921
Yazoo80312
Lincoln78741
Pontotoc7808
Leake77625
Simpson76730
Wayne74921
Monroe73151
Coahoma68410
Tate68327
Marion63419
Marshall6169
Covington60313
Adams59625
Winston59315
Union55215
George5454
Newton53011
Pearl River51537
Tallahatchie51210
Attala51024
Walthall48219
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee43811
Claiborne39913
Calhoun3929
Smith38913
Clay38014
Jasper3799
Alcorn3775
Prentiss3699
Hancock34914
Tishomingo3445
Itawamba32310
Clarke32225
Tippah32013
Tunica3076
Yalobusha30410
Lawrence3027
Montgomery3023
Humphreys28111
Carroll24811
Quitman2381
Greene23011
Kemper22715
Jefferson Davis2256
Perry2207
Amite2176
Webster21112
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson19313
Sharkey1913
Stone1603
Choctaw1294
Benton1280
Franklin1152
Issaquena241
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
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