We’ve been watching the sparse polling of the Democratic field among Iowa caucus voters and, so far, the news has been good for Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Emerson College, however, just released a new set of numbers which show that newly-announced candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, of California, has jumped over Bernie to claim the number 2 spot. Overall, Biden continues to maintain the same level of support, around 30% of Iowa Democratic caucus voters, which he’s seen since December.

Report from the Washington Examiner:

Sunday marks one year until the 2020 Iowa primary caucuses. Ahead of the crucial first-in-the-nation vote, Emerson College found Biden led the Democratic field with almost 30 percent of the vote from Democrats planning to take part in the nominating process. That figure represents a 10-point advantage on Harris and Sanders, and nearly 20-points advantage over Warren.

Here is the complete list of numbers as released by Emerson:

  1. Joe Biden – 29%
  2. Kamala Harris – 18%
  3. Bernie Sanders – 15%
  4. Elizabeth Warren – 11%
  5. Beto O’Rourke – 6%
  6. Cory Booker – 4%
  7. Sherrod Brown – 4%
  8. Amy Klobuchar – 3%
  9. Julian Castro – 2%
  10. John Delaney – 1%
  11. Kirsten Gillibrand – 1%

Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, and Andrew Yang were also included but each received 0%.

What About President Trump?

Emerson also asked the same Iowa caucus voters about which Democratic candidate they felt would be able to beat the President in 2020, and also asked about the chances of another Republican primarying him:

Biden is also the only potential candidate to be leading Trump in a head to head matchup, by a margin of 51% to 49%. Trump leads Sanders by 1% (51-50), Warren by 4% (52-48), and Harris and O’Rourke by 6% (53-47), all within the poll’s margin of error. President Trump seems to have locked up support from Iowa Republicans. In a potential matchup with former Ohio Governor John Kasich, Trump leads 90% to 10%.

Biden has to be feeling pretty good about these numbers and he’ll be unlikely to bypass the opportunity to run. Iowa Democrats will be looking down the road to which candidate they think has the best shot at unseating the incumbent president.

Third-Party Influence

What about the prospect of Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, deciding to launch an independent run, how would that change the field?

The Emerson Poll suggests a third party candidate would help the President’s chances in 2020. In a head-to-head matchup against Elizabeth Warren, Trump leads 52% to 48%, but when Howard Schultz is added as a third party candidate, Trump’s lead extends to 9 percentage points, 49% to 40%, with 11% voting for Schultz.

Granted, these numbers are only among Iowa caucus voters, from both parties, but these numbers show a fair amount of Democrats saying they’d consider voting for Schultz over the Democratic nominee, which inevitably would help Donald Trump. A few more polls like this popping up and Democrats will be outright demanding that Schultz trash his idea to run an independent ticket.

It’s early, yes, but these polls can still give us a good read on where the field is starting out. Biden benefits from name recognition and his experience of serving two terms under President Obama as Vice President. Harris has made the most upward movement with her campaign announcement in January.

The 2020 Iowa Caucus is just under a year away.


    • That’s the question that Biden and his people are trying to answer right now. Will the progresses split the vote and allow him to capture moderates and win the nomination?

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