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: 117617

Reported Deaths: 3302
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8011179
DeSoto721079
Harrison539884
Jackson469387
Rankin401686
Madison384394
Lee364082
Forrest309478
Jones296184
Washington260399
Lafayette253143
Lauderdale2499135
Lamar229138
Oktibbeha203755
Bolivar202877
Neshoba1861111
Lowndes181262
Panola170640
Leflore169188
Sunflower164049
Warren156056
Monroe153073
Pontotoc149020
Marshall147330
Lincoln142959
Pike140456
Copiah138736
Scott126229
Coahoma125537
Yazoo122734
Grenada122639
Simpson122349
Union119725
Tate119339
Itawamba115926
Leake115842
Pearl River115060
Holmes114960
Adams109344
Prentiss108320
Wayne102722
Alcorn102112
George101419
Covington98529
Marion95443
Tippah93123
Newton86827
Chickasaw86226
Hancock85928
Tallahatchie84626
Winston84621
Tishomingo82241
Attala80526
Clarke76353
Clay70522
Jasper69217
Walthall64127
Calhoun62713
Noxubee60117
Smith59816
Yalobusha55614
Montgomery55423
Claiborne53916
Tunica53617
Lawrence53414
Perry51223
Carroll49712
Stone48614
Greene47918
Humphreys44916
Amite42713
Quitman4216
Jefferson Davis41711
Webster37813
Benton3608
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32715
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27710
Franklin2483
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 160380

Reported Deaths: 2713
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23573377
Mobile16994316
Tuscaloosa10462140
Montgomery10352198
Madison942298
Shelby750465
Baldwin671269
Lee657165
Calhoun464761
Marshall442651
Etowah434151
Morgan422335
Houston419334
DeKalb349228
Elmore324653
St. Clair304042
Limestone293631
Walker283793
Talladega271437
Cullman255725
Lauderdale233842
Jackson219417
Autauga208231
Franklin206432
Colbert206032
Blount197225
Russell19603
Chilton190432
Dallas188127
Coffee180711
Dale178952
Covington175929
Escambia174931
Chambers136847
Clarke136617
Pike134514
Tallapoosa133987
Marion110331
Barbour10429
Marengo102622
Butler101241
Winston94013
Geneva9217
Lawrence86933
Pickens86918
Bibb85015
Randolph83516
Hale77730
Cherokee75614
Clay75312
Washington75112
Henry7236
Lowndes71628
Monroe65510
Bullock65017
Crenshaw60930
Perry5956
Fayette58913
Cleburne5739
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56513
Macon53920
Lamar5085
Sumter47421
Choctaw39312
Greene34616
Coosa2093
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 68°
Starkville
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather