Memo: The Current State Of The Democratic Primary

By Sean McElwee & John L Ray

In our survey, we sought to measure Democratic candidate selection in a way that accommodated the reality of a field consisting of almost thirty candidates, including some who have been in the race for months, others who have not. To do this, we asked voters to select as many candidates from a list as they wanted, rather than to simply choose one.

  • The candidate selected by the highest number of Democrats is Joe Biden, whom 49 percent of Democrats are currently thinking of voting for. However, one in five Democrats are not considering him.

  • Notably, our national-level results suggest that Elizabeth Warren is in second place for consideration among voters. Fully 40 percent of Democrats say they are considering a vote for Warren, and just 13 percent have said they are not currently considering her.

  • Medicare for All is the top priority among voters likely to vote in the 2020 Democratic Primary, followed closely by action on climate change.