DES MOINES — A year from Monday, Feb. 4, Iowans should wake up knowing who won the Iowa caucuses, but a new poll suggests former Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn’t said if he’s running, has a significant lead on what’s looking like a big field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
In the Emerson College poll of 260 planned Democratic caucusgoers, Biden is leading at 29 percent, well ahead of California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is polling 18 percent — 364 days before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who came within a hair’s breadth of defeating eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 caucuses, is next at 15 percent, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 11 percent as the only potential candidates in double digits.
Although the poll found that President Donald Trump is underwater at 46 percent approval and 48 percent disapproval, carrying Iowa won’t be a cakewalk for whoever Democrats choose as their nominee. Trump remains competitive against the field of potential challengers. According to the poll, Biden would win 51 percent to 49 percent.
Sanders would come close — losing 50 percent to 51 percent in the poll that has a 3.4 percent margin of error. The president’s margin against all others exceeds the margin of error in the poll of 831 registered Iowa voters.
Trump leads Warren by 4 percent (52-48), and Harris and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas by 6 percent (53-47).
Iowa Republicans showed no sign of abandoning Trump. They would back him 90 percent to 10 percent over former Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio.
When Emerson added a third-party candidate, Trump prevailed 49 percent to 40 percent over Warren with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is toying with running as an independent, winning 11 percent of the Iowa vote.
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When asked what kind of a presidential candidate they would be more likely to support, 78 percent of Iowa voters said they want someone who will work across party lines to get things done. And 56 percent said they would be more likely to vote for someone who supports increasing funding for border security. Support for Medicare for all would be a factor for 43 percent.
For more on the poll, visit “news and events” at www.emerson.edu.
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