Despite the hubbub that has been raised about the chances of Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, a new CNN poll acknowledges that although O’Rourke is in the top group of candidates, he is nowhere near the front-runner, former Vice-President Joe Biden.
The CNN poll, conducted by SSRS from December 6 through December 9, surveyed 1,015 adults. It found Biden garnering 30% of the vote, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 14% and O’Rourke following him with 9%. After O’Rourke, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) grabbed 5% of the vote; California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren both plunged five points since October and rest below 5%.
The poll found Sanders got 22% of the vote among those under age 45 and only 7% of the vote from voters age 45 and older. Although Rep. John Delaney of Maryland has announced his intention to run and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro stated he is forming an exploratory committee, neither even made it to 1%.
Warren is even underwater with the voters: 32% of voters saw her unfavorably, 30% favorably. CNN notes, “The poll finds 51% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say it would be better for the party if one strong candidate emerged early on as the clear front-runner for the nomination, while 41% said they'd prefer a number of strong candidates to compete for the nod.”
In 2015, 53% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they preferred a number of strong candidates. 57% of voters identifying as Democrats want one strong candidate to come to the top quickly; 50% of independents want a bigger crop of candidates.
On Tuesday, NBC News reported that a straw poll of MoveOn.org members favored O’Rourke over Biden, 15.6% to 14.9%. They were followed by Sanders at 13.1%.
But Biden’s support remains strong; in early November, Reuters reported that a Reuters/Ipsos Election Day opinion poll found Biden the preferred candidate among Democrats; he received 29% of the votes, followed by Sanders with 22%, and then a virtual tie between Booker, Warren, and Harris. The poll found that in a hypothetical match with President Trump, Biden led 51%-39%, and Sanders, Booker and Harris would also defeat Trump in the popular vote.
Also in early November, The Washington Post conducted an exit poll asking Democrat voters whom they preferred to see as the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. Biden got 32% of the vote; Sanders received 15% of the vote; Warren, Bloomberg and Harris got 10% of the vote. O’Rourke got 9% of the vote; Booker got 7% of the vote, and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper got 2% of the vote. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was listed, but he received 0% of the vote.