Bernie Sanders Fails To Top 20 Percent In Iowa 2020 Poll Despite 96 Percent Name Recognition, Biden Takes Lead

Bernie Sanders Fails To Top 20 Percent In Iowa 2020 Poll Despite 96 Percent Name Recognition, Biden Takes Lead

December 17, 2018

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders may face trouble in the 2020 presidential race, based on results from the first poll of likely Iowa caucus voters.

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who staged a surprisingly strong challenge to eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, may be facing an uphill battle in 2020 according to a new poll of likely Iowa caucus voters. Sanders has not formally announced his 2020 candidacy but said late last month that he will “probably” run for president a second time “if it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump,” according to a CNN report.

Of course, like any Democratic candidate, before having a chance to defeat Trump, Sanders must first win the Democratic party’s 2020 nomination. And according to the new CNN/Des Moines Register poll, his primary campaign could get off to a rocky start.

The Iowa caucus — scheduled for February 3, 2020, according to The Register — has since 1972 been the first contest of the presidential primary season. Of the 12 Iowa caucuses since the state moved to the front of the line in the primary campaign, Iowa voters have picked the eventual Democratic nominee seven times, an NPR chart shows.

In the new poll, however, the 77-year-old Sanders placed second with only 19 percent of respondents saying that they would vote for him — just under one of every five — even though an overwhelming 96 percent said they knew his name, which as a study published in the American Journal of Political Science found is a highly important factor in producing votes for candidates.

Former United States Vice President Joe Biden, 76, registered 97 percent name recognition in the Iowa poll, as Democratic pollster Will Jordan noted on Twitter. But Biden won 32 percent of voter support, easily topping the CNN poll.

“I don’t know how you can think Sanders is a frontrunner or really all that close to it when he has near universal name ID, can’t hit 20% in IA or nationally in high quality polls, and is double digits behind Biden,” wrote CNN polling expert Harry Enten, on his Twitter account.

Of the 20 possible Democratic candidates in the poll, only five garnered at least five percent support, according to Business Insider. Trailing Biden and Sanders, Texas congressional rep Beto O’Rourke — who ran a close but losing race against incumbent Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas U.S. senate election — took 11 percent, followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at eight percent, and first-term California Senator Kamala Harris at five percent.

In terms of name recognition, Warren registered 84 percent, O’Rourke 64 percent, and Harris 59 percent. Former New York City Mayor and billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg — who visited Iowa in November to test his prospects for a 2020 run as a Democrat, according to The Des Moines Register — has his name recognized by 71 percent of likely Iowa caucus voters. But only three percent said that they would vote for him.

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