CNN's latest poll on 2020 Democrats

By Harry Enten, CNN

Updated 7:40 a.m. ET, August 22, 2019
2 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:17 a.m. ET, August 20, 2019

Julián Castro qualifies for the September debates

The September debate stage just got its 10th participant: former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Castro got just 2% in our poll. That, however, is enough. Under rules set by the Democratic National Committee, candidates need to meet a fundraising benchmark (which Castro already has) and get at least 2% in at least four qualifying polls released between June 28 and August 28. Our poll marks the fourth survey in which Castro hit 2%.

Castro got into the debate within 10 days of the qualifying window closing.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also hit 2% in our poll. This is the second poll she can use to get into the September debates. It seems unlikely that she'll get two more polls before the deadline closes, but stranger things have happened.

Billionaire Tom Steyer is still one poll short of the four he needs to qualify for the September debates. He was at 1% in our poll. The three qualifying polls that have put Steyer at 2% or more have been from Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina (i.e. early primary states). That's not surprising given he's spending millions on advertising in those states.

The nine candidates besides Castro to qualify for the September debates include former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and businessman Andrew Yang.

6:14 a.m. ET, August 20, 2019

Joe Biden regains clear lead, as Kamala Harris plummets

Former Vice President Joe Biden has mostly recovered from his decline in the CNN/SSRS conducted following the June debates.

Our new poll taken late last week and this weekend finds Biden leading the Democratic primary field with 29%. That's up from 22% in late June.

Following Biden is a second tier of candidates: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 15% and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 14%. Both of those are relatively unchanged from late June, when Sanders was at 14% and Warren was at 15%.

Perhaps the biggest story of the horserace in our poll is that California Sen. Kamala Harris has dropped from 17% in late June to a mere 5% now. Harris had seen a major bump following her June debate performance. Her polling now mirrors much more closely where she stood in April (5%) and May (8%).

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the only other candidate to hit 5% in our latest poll. He's been within 2 points of 5% in our polls taken since April.

Every other candidate we polled was within a point of where they were in late June. It's a clear sign that the CNN debates in late July didn't upend the state of the Democratic race.

Biden is currently, as he has been for most of the last year, a clear, even if it not wholly impressive, frontrunner.