Democrats Have Mixed Feelings on 2020 Field

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest national poll finds Democrats sending mixed messages when it comes to their 2020 Presidential candidate.

On one hand they say they want a younger candidate, one who’s never run for President. 57% of Democrats say they want their candidate to be under the age of 60, and 77% say they want their candidate to be under the age of 70. Only 8% actually want a candidate who’s in their 70s, with another 15% expressing no opinion in regards to the age of their candidate.

Beyond wanting a younger candidate, only 25% of Democrats say they want their candidate in 2020 to be someone who has run for President before. 41% would prefer someone who’s never run before, and 34% say they’re not sure one way or the other.

But despite saying that they generically want a younger candidate who hasn’t run for President before, the top 2 choices of Democrats for 2020 at this very early stage are…people in their 70s who have run for President before.

Joe Biden leads the way for Democrats with 31% to 24% for Bernie Sanders, and 16% for Elizabeth Warren. They’re the only folks we tested with meaningful support for the nomination at this point. Cory Booker gets 4%, Al Franken and Kirsten Gillibrand each get 3%, Sherrod Brown and Andrew Cuomo each get 2%, and Julian Castro gets less than 1%.

Biden (27%), Sanders (25%), and Warren (23%) all have pretty similar levels of support with white voters. What gives Biden a broader advantage is a substantial lead with African Americans- he gets 45% with them to 21% for Sanders, and 6% for Warren. Sanders retains the edge he had this year with younger voters, getting 35% among those under 45 to 31% for Biden and 10% for Warren. Biden leads overall due to being especially strong with seniors, among whom he gets 35% to 19% for Warren, and 14% for Sanders.

Biden (79/12 favorability) and Sanders (78/11) are the only folks we tested who are pretty universally well known by Democratic voters. They are also pretty universally well liked. Warren (59/13) is the next best known, and the only other person we tested who is known to a majority of Democratic voters at this point is Franken at 44/15. Booker (34/15), Cuomo (27/20), Castro (20/20), Brown (23/14), and Gillibrand (22/13) all have less than 50% name recognition with Democrats nationally.

So there’s a tension for Democrats nationally. They want new blood, but their most well known and popular figures don’t exactly fit that mold.

Of course from where we stand on December 13th, 2016 they have a long time to get that all figured out.

Full results here


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