Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O'Rourke top the list of favoured 2020 presidential candidates, Iowa poll shows

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the pack of potential Democratic presidential candidates, according to a new poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers.
  • Poll respondents also ranked Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke as their top picks.
  • Just two other people on the list of 20 potential contenders broke 5% support among the poll respondents: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the leading contender on a list of 20 potential Democratic presidential candidates, according to a new poll of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa released Saturday evening.

The CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll surveyed 455 people between December 10 and 13, with a whopping 32% saying Biden was their first choice for president.

Here’s who else broke 5% support among the respondents:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont: 19%
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas: 11%
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts: 8%
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California: 5%

Other prominent names polled among the likely caucusgoers were Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Iowa is the first state to vote in presidential nominating contests, serving as somewhat of a bellwether for how the primaries could play out across the country.

Bernie SandersMatthew Cavanaugh/Getty ImagesBernie Sanders, then a Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at a rally at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2016.

Respondents to the CNN/Des Moines Register poll were somewhat divided over whether they wanted an experienced politician or a fresh face to challenge President Donald Trump.

Nearly half of the respondents, 49%, said they preferred a “seasoned political hand,” while 36% favoured a “newcomer,” reflected by O’Rourke’s relatively high ranking.

“This is obviously a warm welcome to some people who are really familiar to caucusgoers in the state,” J. Ann Selzer, the president of the firm that conducted the poll, told The Des Moines Register. “But there’s also some welcoming of newcomers who are only now starting to come to the state and get to know the people who could shape their future.

Respondents also largely agreed that the most important priority for them in the Iowa Democratic caucus was voting for a candidate who could beat Trump, rather than a candidate who agreed with them on major ideological issues.

In the poll, 54% of respondents said it was more important the candidate have a strong chance of beating Trump, and just 40% said the candidate should share their positions.

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