Though former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — who gained wide name recognition from his run in the 2016 election — are currently considered the two “front runners” for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, as The Washington Post noted, a new poll shows that the crowded Democratic race remains wide open — simply because most voters planning to cast ballots in the primary election have not made up their minds.
The race has become extremely crowded, with a record 20 candidates already officially declared, and another four believed to be considering presidential bids, according to a compilation by Rolling Stone.
But according to the Real Clear Politics average of all national polls, Biden, who is 76-years-old, and Sanders, 77, clearly lead the field, with 29.3 percent and 23 percent support respectively. California Senator Kamala Harris, places third in the nationwide average, well behind the two in polling percentage at 8.3 percent average, as well as chronological age. Harris is only 54-years-old — more than two decades younger than either of the two “front runners.”
Harris, and the other top candidates in the race — including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — appear to have significant opportunities to pick up support and gain on Biden and Sanders, however. According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll released this week, a whopping 54 percent of voters who say they are Democrats or who “lean” Democratic, say they currently have “no preference” in the Democratic race.
Can we stop calling this a race with two frontrunners? With 54% undecided it’s a race to be won by any number of candidates including several women with the best campaign and the best message. pic.twitter.com/1wKjsk8349
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) April 28, 2019
The poll used a somewhat different method than many other polls. Rather than listing candidates, pollsters simply asked an open-ended question about a voter’s preference. The results showed Biden pulling in just 13 percent support, with only 9 percent naming Sanders as their first choice, according to The Washington Post.
Buttigieg was named by 5 percent of respondents, while Harris and Warren picked up 4 percent each.
By refraining from giving respondents a list of candidates, the poll produced significantly different results from conventional polls. In an Ipsos/Reuters poll released just two days before the Washington Post/ABC poll, Biden scored 24 percent, Sanders 15 percent, and Harris had 6 percent — tied with former Texas congressional rep Beto O’Rourke.
Even when presented with a list of candidates, however, 21 percent of the potential Democratic primary voters in the Ipsos/Reuters poll said that they “don’t know” who will get their votes.
There is still plenty of time left for candidates to build their support, as well. The first Democratic presidential debate is not scheduled until June 26, according to NBC News. The Iowa caucuses, traditionally the opening voting event of the primary season, is set for February 3, 2020.