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In the wake of the first round of debates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, former Vice President Joe Biden has taken a serious hit, while Sen.s Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are on the ascendant, along with Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the 2016 runner-up, has fallen behind. Even so, both Sanders and Biden are maintaining a strong presence in the race. The race seems to be shaping up as a battle between these five candidates.
While the first votes in the Democratic primary will not come until next year, it is important for candidates to raise money and introduce themselves to voters over the next few months. At this point in the race, voters have not decided whom to support. Rather, they are considering various options.
Economist/YouGov - Poll - Friday - Fortunes - Candidates
An Economist/YouGov poll published on Friday captured the shifting fortunes of candidates well. Rather than merely asking likely primary voters their first choice, the poll asked them which candidates they are considering, thus allowing a voter to choose a few different options.
Before the debates, Biden led the field with 50 percent of Democrats considering him. Warren (47 percent), Sanders (38 percent), Harris (33 percent), Buttigieg (29 percent), former Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke (D-Texas) (25 percent), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) (22 percent) followed behind. Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro followed at a distance, at 10 percent.
Debates - Warren - Place - Percent - Harris
After the debates, Warren jumped to first place (53 percent), with Harris nipping at her heels (46 percent). Biden (44 percent) and Sanders (35 percent), still in a very strong position, fell behind their previous leads. Buttigieg (31 percent) and Booker (23 percent) experienced moderate gains, while Castro shot up to 20 percent and O'Rourke dropped to 13 percent.
Chart from July 2019 Economist/YouGov poll showing which 2020 Democratic candidates voters...
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Democrate or Republican, the difference is less than the thickness of a cigarette paper, or a slice of pastrami at a delicatesean.