We've combined Insider's polling and results of Morning Consult's daily survey of the 2020 Democratic primary to create a power ranking of 2020 candidates. With less than three weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, the race is heating up, and every day becomes a crucial make-or-break opportunity for all the candidates. This week, we said goodbye to Sen. Cory Booker and Marianne Williamson, who dropped out of the race. Here's what our power ranking looks like as of January 15, 2020. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
With 12 major candidates in the race, the Democratic 2020 presidential field is set to be one of the largest, most competitive, and most unpredictable in modern history. To help make sense of where all these candidates stand, Insider has been conducting a recurring SurveyMonkey Audience national poll. You can download every poll here, down to the individual respondent data. Read more about how the Insider 2020 Democratic primary tracker works. We're mainly interested in using our polling to figure out:
What percentage of Democratic voters are familiar with each candidate in the first place. How Democrats rate each candidate's chances of beating President Donald Trump in the general election. If a given candidate were to drop out of the race, who that candidate's supporters would flock to next.
We've combined Insider's polling and results of Morning Consult's daily survey of the 2020 Democratic primary to create a power ranking of declared and potential 2020 candidates. With less than three weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, the race is heating up, and every day presents a crucial make-or-break opportunity for the candidates. This week, we said goodbye to Sen. Cory Booker and Marianne Williamson, who both dropped out of the race. Here's what our ranking looks like as of January 54, 2020.SEE ALSO: Here's everyone who's running for president in 2020, and who has quit the race 12: Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts
Like Bloomberg, Patrick also made an extremely late entry into the race, officially announcing his campaign on November 14. While Patrick hasn't been very active on the political scene for the past few years, he's led a long career in business and politics. He served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015, and was most recently a managing director at Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Sen. Mitt Romney. Patrick will have a tough uphill battle in his presidential bid, and it's almost impossible to see a clear path to him winning any primary contests at all, much less a path to the nomination, which is why we put him in 13th place near the bottom of our ranking. He's already missed the filing deadline for two key Super Tuesday state primaries in Alabama and Arkansas, and unlike Bloomberg, he doesn't have billions of dollars in personal wealth to draw from. More importantly, Patrick doesn't seem to have a clear rationale for running for president other than trying to position himself as a unifying Obama-type figure — the exact lane Biden is occupying, situating him in last place in our ranking. Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1197323379323424768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Governor @DevalPatrick was supposed to have an event at Morehouse College tonight. An organizer with the college who planned the event told CNN that Patrick cancelled the event when he arrived and learned that he would not have an audience. (Note, two people came, not pictured) pic.twitter.com/CzNjWYcWKJ Read more about Deval Patrick's campaign. 11: Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
Delaney is among those at 1% in Morning Consult polls. According to Insider's polling, he's known by about 20% of Democrats, but he has been unable to build a base of support having to compete with former VP Joe Biden for moderate voters. We moved Delaney to the bottom of our ranking in early August he was thoroughly walloped by Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the July Democratic debates. Warren had the line of the night in criticizing him, saying, "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for." Now that he hasn't qualified for the fall debates and is on the outside looking in, the rationale for him staying in the race is less and less clear. Read more about John Delaney's campaign. 10: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
Gabbard has some serious viability problems among Democrats. Not only do a significant proportion of respondents in Insider polling say they are unhappy with her as the nominee compared with her rivals, but Gabbard has not been able to consolidate support in a meaningful way. Despite being one of the first to enter the race, Gabbard is still polling at 1% in Morning Consult and is considered a less viable opponent to President Donald Trump in the general election than most other candidates. We dropped Gabbard down a spot, however, on November 22 after she spent most of her time at the November Democratic debate blasting her own party as "not the party that is of, by, and for the people" and "influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington represented by Hillary Clinton, as well as getting into spats with Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. While Gabbard's performance earned her lots of praise from right-wing media and even the Trump campaign, its exceedingly difficult to see how it helps her win over Democratic primary voters. Read more about Tulsi Gabbard's campaign. 9: Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
Despite being a relatively savvy politician, Bennet — who has been in the US Senate for 10 years — has the distinction of being both the least recognized and worst-polling person with any political experience in the 2020 field. Bennet is at 1% in Morning Consult's polling, and his would-be constituency has not materialized. Bennet moved up two spots from 16th to 14th place in late August thanks to his fellow Rocky Mountain and West Coast-based rivals John Hickenlooper and Jay Inslee dropping out of the race, but his practically non-existent fundraising and lack of debate qualification places him at the back of the pack. Read more about Michael Bennet's campaign. 8: Tom Steyer
Steyer achieved billionaire status as an investor and hedge fund manager — but he has since focused his efforts on advancing Democratic causes with two organizations, Need To Impeach and NextGen America. He entered the race late, on July 9, and has pledged to spend $100 million of his own money on his presidential race. For context, the highest-fundraising candidate of 2019's second quarter — Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana — raised $24.8 million. In determining where to place Steyer in our ranking, we wondered: "Which candidates are worth more than Tom Steyer and $100 million?" Given the TV ads and campaign infrastructure that money can buy, we placed him ahead of several of the lowest-polling and lowest-fundraising candidates, but we're still not sure that $100 million can buy him more support and better polling numbers than the ones above him. We bumped Steyer up one spot on October 25 for qualifying for the fifth Democratic debate in November and moved him up another two spots on November 1 due to his strong polling, tied for 4th place at 9% in early primary states in Morning Consult. But after spending close to $50 million of his own money on his presidential campaign, Steyer still has largely failed to articulate a clear rationale for his candidacy just a few weeks before the first primary contests — and has been upstaged by fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Read more about Tom Steyer's campaign. 7: Andrew Yang
Yang, despite the low name recognition that accompanies running for president without political experience, is actually doing fairly well in Insider polling. He isn't a favorite by any measure, polling at 4% in Morning Consult, but his online army of supporters and meme creators, known as the Yang Gang, have helped him sustain the buzz around his campaign for months despite his lack of political experience. While Yang is still somewhat of an underdog in the grand scheme of the race, his grassroots support shouldn't be taken for granted: in 2019's fourth quarter, Yang brought in a stunning $16.5 million from his loyal donor base and seems to be expanding his support every day. His proven ability to run a unique, dynamic, and attention-grabbing campaign has allowed him to outlast multiple US Members of Congress and Governors and stay in the mix, earning him a spot in the top 10. Read more about Andrew Yang's campaign. 6: Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Klobuchar is relatively well-known, but she's still largely overshadowed by her other Senate colleagues with higher name recognition, polling at 2% in Morning Consult. While Klobuchar famously launched her campaign in a snowstorm, her campaign has failed to gain much traction in light of Biden dominating the centrist lane. We dropped Klobuchar down to 12th place on the week of October 11 due to her now polling at just 1% in early primary states in Morning Consult — a very ominous sign for a candidate whose entire strategy revolves around winning in Iowa and New Hampshire. But now, Klobuchar is distinguishing herself as a strong candidate, and making a play for a top-tier showing in Iowa. Klobuchar is currently in sixth place due to her strong fourth-quarter fundraising preformance, rock-solid showing in the January 14 debate, and positioning herself for a potential breakout performance in Iowa. Read more about Amy Klobuchar's campaign. 5: Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
Despite relatively low name recognition, he's enjoyed a strong past few months in the polls and in fundraising. The Democratic primary voters who do know him are fairly confident in his ability to beat Trump, compared with his more experienced and nationally known rivals, Insider polling has found. Buttigieg has enjoyed a considerable polling bump. In late April, Morning Consult had him ranked third behind Biden and Sanders at 8%, up from 0% in late February and 1% in March. He's now at 8% in fourth place, tied with Michael Bloomberg. While Buttigieg's numbers have slightly dipped in Morning Consult's polling, his sustained strong performance in polling and fundraising shows both that he's not a flavor-of-the-month candidate and that he has lots of room to grow. Despite his overall strong position in the race, we knocked him down to fifth place on December 13 due to him bogging his campaign down in nasty feuds with progressives over everything from free college to Warren's previous legal work, which spilled over onto the December debate stage. Read more about Pete Buttigieg's campaign. 4: Michael Bloomberg
On November 7, The New York Times reported that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was expected to make a late entrance in the 2020 Democratic primary. Bloomberg will have to work quickly to get his campaign off the ground, but he has the luxury of being able to self-fund his campaign with his estimated $52 billion net worth. But there's a big catch: Bloomberg has announced he's sitting out the first four primary contests altogether and will try to rack up victories in Super Tuesday states. While he might seem like an unconventional choice for fourth place in our ranking, the sheer amount of money Bloomberg is pumping into the race per week outpaces most candidates quarterly fundraising hauls, meaning he shouldn't be underestimated as a force in the race. Despite being in the race for a relatively short amount of time, Bloomberg has made a pretty sizeable impact. So far, he's spent a mind-bogglingly large sum of at least $200 million on TV ads, dwarfing his fellow candidates by tens of millions of dollars. If you've watched TV or YouTube recently, you've probably seen at least one of his ads, and his strategy is paying off, rocketing him into the top tier of candidates and earning him a promotion from sixth to fourth place in our ranking due to the sheer amount of money he's pumped into the race. Bloomberg has shot up to fourth place in Morning Consult at 8% and has an average of 6% in Real Clear Politics. Read more about Michael Bloomberg's campaign. 3: Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Warren is the best-known candidate who has not previously run for president, and has proven herself to be a top-tier candidate. She overlaps considerably with Sanders and Biden's bases, with 50% of Biden supporters and 57% of Sanders supporters also being satisfied with her as the nominee in Insider polling. Not only does Warren have high name recognition, but Insider polling respondents see her as the second most electable candidate behind Biden. Warren is in third place at 14% in Morning Consult polling, a substantial decline from the 21% support she held at her peak in October. Given Warren's significant dip in the polls after her surging over the summer and losing lots of support, favorability, and enthusiasm going into the early primaries we bumped Warren down one spot to third place on January 3. While her campaign is still going steady, she's seen her fundraising drop and is at risk of missing the delegate threshold in key early states. Read more about Elizabeth Warren's campaign. 2: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Sanders enjoys widespread name recognition among Democrats from his decades serving in Congress and his 2016 run against Hillary Clinton. He's also established a grassroots army of small donors that helped him lead the pack in fundraising with an $18.2 million haul in 2019's first and second quarters. He is considered the top rival of Biden, and 49% think Sanders would beat Trump in a general election compared with 29% who think he'd lose, according to Insider polling. Furthermore, Insider polling found that Sanders would be a satisfactory nominee for half of Biden supporters, which could seriously benefit him in case Biden's candidacy falters. Sanders is supported by 23% of Democrats, according to Morning Consult, landing him in second place. Sanders raised a monster sum of $34.5 million in the fourth fundraising quarter of 2019, outpacing all his fellow candidates. Even more impressive, Sanders doesn't do private, closed-door fundraising, relying on 100% grassroots donations. We moved Sanders up from third to second after he had a number of encouraging polls in early states and nationwide, far surpassing Warren to second place in both Morning Consult and Real Clear Politics' polling average. Sanders earning some key endorsements, holding steady in the polls, and continuing to bring in monster fundraising hauls could make him an unlikely favorite going into the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. Read more about Bernie Sanders' campaign. 1: Former Vice President Joe Biden
Biden has unparalleled name recognition among Democrats from his eight years as President Barack Obama's vice president and 36 years in the US Senate. Despite taking hits from his rivals at both of the first Democratic primary debates, Biden maintains high levels of support, leading the field with 29% support in Morning Consult and being perceived as most likely to beat Trump in Insider polling and most other polls. Biden has managed to recover from his setbacks along the way and bounced back in the polls. He ranks first also due to his high levels of support among older and African-American voters— two crucial constituencies in Democratic primaries. After a couple months where Biden was second to Warren, we moved Biden back up to first place in November due to him regaining his lead in RealClearPolitics' polling average, coming in first place in a Quinnipiac poll of New Hampshire, and being within the margin of error of Warren and Sanders in a Monmouth poll of Iowa, two states where Sanders and Warren should be overperforming. And with less than weeks until the Iowa caucuses, Biden is looking stronger than ever, dominating both state-level and national polls, leaning into his foreign policy credentials, and staying above the fray of Warren and Sanders' ongoing feud. Read more about Joe Biden's campaign. Read more: Bernie Sanders ends 2019 with a massive $34.5 million fundraising haul, setting the pace in the Democratic field Julián Castro quit the race: Here's who stands to gain the most and why Castro's not done with 2020 yet Here's everything we know about the net worth and personal finances of each 2020 Democratic presidential candidate
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