2020 Presidential Polls: Joe Biden The Democratic Frontrunner Even Before Entering Race, Bernie Sanders Surges

Joe Biden speaks at a political event.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

There are a pair of familiar faces atop the 2020 presidential polls for Democratic primary voters, including one who hasn’t even entered the race yet.

Though the first voting in the Democratic primary is still nearly a year away, the race is already in full swing as the field grows crowded with contenders. As a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll showed, Joe Biden is the top pick in the crucial early state of Iowa, getting the support of 27 percent of voters. Reuters noted that the situation looks very good for Biden, even before he’s officially entered the race.

“If I’m Joe Biden sitting on the fence and I see this poll, this might make me want to jump in,” J. Ann Selzer, president of polling firm Selzer & Co, told the Des Moines Register, via Reuters.

While Biden has yet to announce what he will do next year, the poll showed there is a strong desire among voters to see him run. Close to 65 percent of voters said they would like to see him in the race.

Biden has said he wants to evaluate whether he would have enough support to make another run at president worth it. Though Biden has become popular with voters since serving as vice president for two terms under Barack Obama, he performed poorly in his previous run for president, dropping out early and failing to win delegates in 2008.

As NPR noted, Biden may have a clear path to the nomination and wide support should he choose to run this time around.

“He does well with Middle America, working-class voters, with African-Americans and Hispanics, and you don’t see a huge gender gap with his vote,” said Steve Schale, a Florida Democratic strategist, who was part of a group that tried to convince Biden to run in 2016.

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The Iowa poll also found that Bernie Sanders has surged since officially entering the race last month. When the poll was last conducted in December, he had the support of 19 percent of respondents, and his rise seems to be cutting into Biden’s support. Sanders gained five points from the previous poll while Biden fell by that number, dropping from 32 percent support in the December poll.

The Reuters report noted that polls of the rest of the country reflect the Iowa poll, with Biden in a solid lead over 2016 runner-up Bernie Sanders. California Senator Kamala Harris has mostly been in third, ahead of fellow senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.