A new CNN 2020 primary poll found former Vice President Joe Biden leading the Democratic pack with more than twice the support of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and three times that of Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
Biden leads the primary poll with 30 percent of Democratic voters saying they would back President Obama’s veep in 2020 while Sanders, who is an independent, came in second at 14 percent. O’Rourke came in third at 9 percent as he flirts with a possible presidential run after nearly unseating Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in deep-red Texas in the midterms.
Joe Biden Leads The Pack, Beto O’Rourke Climbing
The poll, conducted between December 6 and December 9, also found New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, California Sen. Kamala Harris, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the middle of the pack.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe barely making a dent.
O’Rourke was the only candidate to make a significant gain in the poll since it was last conducted in October.
The poll also asked respondents about Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, and anti-Trump businessman Tom Steyer but none of them cracked a single percentage point of support.
Biden and Sanders benefit from both high name recognition and high favorables. More than half of respondents said they have a favorable view of Sanders and 54 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Biden.
Just 30 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Warren while 22 percent said they had never heard of her. More than 40 percent said they’d never heard of Harris, 36 percent have never heard of Booker, and 38 percent have never heard of O’Rourke.
Betting Markets Show O’Rourke in First
The poll is clearly skewed toward the two most recognizable candidates, which is typical more than a year before the first primary. The betting markets show a different picture, with O’Rourke and Harris leading the pack ahead of Sanders and Biden.
Here is where the betting market PreditIt puts the Democratic race:
NBC News reported earlier this month that O’Rourke has met with former President Obama, his former adviser Rev. Al Sharpton, and fellow 2018 Democratic rising star Andrew Gillum, who like O’Rourke came up short in his Florida gubernatorial bid.
O’Rourke appears to be testing the waters on how much support he may gain from African-American leaders, especially in a race that may feature three black candidates: Harris, Booker, and even Gillum himself.
Hillary Clinton’s entire margin of victory over Sanders in 2016 came thanks to lopsided victories in the primaries in key southern states like South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, where the majority of Democratic voters are African-American.