As the fall Democratic primary debates get closer—10 candidates have made the cut so far, with about a week left to qualify, as of this writing—some initial Democratic polls are giving us insight as to which candidates are leading the 2020 presidential race.
Now, as was made clear in 2016, polls are far from the only indicator of future success, and they can be flawed or inaccurate. However, they can indicate how voters are initially leaning, who has popular sway, and who just doesn't have enough support to potentially move forward. It's a benchmark, not a crystal ball, basically.
So here's how the Democratic polls stand as of this moment, bearing in mind that these numbers can and will change as 2020 gets closer.
Here's how it's looking overall.
The New York Times has provided a comprehensive analysis of the numbers and what they might mean. Here's how the candidates are stacking up against each other so far (if they're not on the list, they've gotten one percent or less overall):
- Joe Biden: 30% ($22 million raised)
- Elizabeth Warren: 16% ($25.2 million raised)
- Bernie Sanders: 14% ($36.2 million raised)
- Kamala Harris: 8% ($23.8 million raised)
- Pete Buttigieg: 5% ($32.3 million raised)
- Cory Booker: 2% ($9.5 million raised)
- Andrew Yang: 2% ($5.2 million raised)
- Beto O'Rourke: 2% ($13.0 million raised)
- Amy Klobuchar: 1% ($9.1 million raised)
- Tulsi Gabbard: < 1% ($3.5 million raised)
It's important to look not just at the percentage, but the amount of money raised, which is another indicator of potential popularity and success (as well as the ability to fundraise effectively). Again, this has the potential to change very quickly, which is why numbers are pulled weekly.
Meanwhile, CNN polls, which were just updated August 20 and can be seen here, have only a sample size of about a representative sample of 1,000 people who were called and interviewed over the phone. So CNN's numbers are smaller and not necessarily representative of the entire voting public.
Who will be at the next debate?
So far, these are the 10 candidates who have qualified for the September 12-13 debates, which is pretty close to poll results as of this moment:
- Joe Biden
- Julián Castro
- Amy Klobuchar
- Cory Booker
- Pete Buttigieg
- Kamala Harris
- Bernie Sanders
- Beto O’Rourke
- Bernie Sanders
- Elizabeth Warren
- Andrew Yang
So, Castro, while not in the top 10 in the polls, still qualified, whereas Tulsi Gabbard is still in the polls but hasn't qualified yet. The candidates still have until August 28 to meet the requisite 2 percent in the four approved DNC polls, if you support a candidate who's not on this list. A candidate can stay in the race even if they don't qualify, but not making it to the debates is a pretty good sign they might not get the visibility they need.
We'll update this post as the race continues.
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