A new Iowa poll shows that Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg are leading the enormous 2020 Democratic primary field, but the survey of likely caucusgoers has some extremely bad news for sixteen other candidates. Seven of them are just scraping by with 1% support, signaling that they have a lot of ground to make up before the first state in the nation chooses its candidate. Worse, nine of them have absolutely no support at all, coming in with a clean 0% of support from Iowa voters. It may not take as long as we thought to pare this field down to the essentials.
The poll, which was a joint venture of the Des Moines Register, Mediacom, and CNN, shows that the same guy leading the field in all national polls is also ahead of the pack in Iowa. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a commanding 24% of voter support in Iowa, positioning him well to keep building his already-solid frontrunner status. He’s trailed by socialist Bernie Sanders with 16%, Warren with 15%, and Mayor Pete with 14%. Those are the only candidates with double-digit support.
From there, things get grim. Kamala Harris comes in with 7%.
And then things get worse.
From the Des Moines Register:
“We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of the Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “There’s a lot more commitment than we normally see this early. And some of these candidates who’ve been under the radar start to surface and compete with Joe Biden.”
But many candidates in this historically large field are failing to break into the public consciousness in any meaningful way, she said.
Seven candidates tally 1% support and nine earn no support. Two candidates — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — were not listed by a single poll respondent as either first or second choice for president.
“There’s always been a question mark as to how many (candidates) can get any real traction,” Selzer said. “And we gave them every opportunity to show that they have some kind of constituency here. But there’s a fair number who, their constituency just isn’t very big.”
Oh, de Blasio. Are you embarrassed yet?
Granted, there is still plenty of time between now and the Iowa caucuses. And granted, Iowa doesn’t mean everything. But this poll are a pretty solid reflection of the national ones, and it tells us that the people to watch are Biden, Bernie, and Elizabeth Warren. Beyond that, there could be a few surprises, but the days of the clown-car primary season are going to be over much sooner than some candidates anticipated.