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The Democrats are Coming! An Analysis of the Des Moines Poll

The Des Moines Register, Mediacom, and CNN Iowa Report released a poll that ranked the masses of Democratic hopefuls in terms of public likeability and the possibility of them being Democratic presidential candidates. The poll was ran by Ann Selzer and was conducted in the first few days in June by 600 Iowa Democrats likely to vote in the 2020 caucus.

The most popular is Joe Biden. He has received 24 percent from likely Iowa caucus goers which is a decrease by three percent from his last poll. Biden has the most name recognition compared to other Democrats running due to being former Vice President. However, he reportedly has 29 percent of support from Iowa caucus goers compared to the 39 percent that other Democratic candidates receive. This can be due to a variety of factors such as his support of the Hyde Amendment, his support of the Iraq war, his comments on inappropriate touching, and plagiarism accusations. 

Biden’s recent posting of former President Obama and their famous friendship bracelets has invoked ridicule, and prevented him from being viewed as a serious candidate.

Because of the disparity between approval for himself and other candidates, Biden has turned his attention to Iowa due to reports that his supporters are less than “extremely enthusiastic” about his candidacy.

The second most popular is a tie between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Sanders has received 16 percent of the vote from Iowan poll respondents, Warren received 15 percent, and Buttigieg received 14 percent.  Sanders has consistently been on the top of Democrats favoritism, maintaining the same high level as Joe Biden since the previous poll in December and March in Iowa.  Sanders has maintained support nationally, and has the financial support for his campaign but has been perceived as the candidate that is most known out of the other Democratic options and has been a strategic vote based on voters not wanting an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton as the nominee in the 2016 presidential election. 

Warren has been reviewed by the media in a critical way due to her proposed policies that have been cited as the “Trumpian of the left” and as preposterous. However, her economic plans have sparked interest and circulated interest among voters.  In fact, her likability in the poll has increased as Biden’s have decreased and she is viewed favorably by news sites. 

Buttigieg has been the candidate that has touched on social issues, stressing his identity as a young married gay man, his and his husband’s student loan debt, and has even completed some work with undocumented immigrants that he has yet to touch upon.  However, Buttigieg receives conflicting views from some claiming him to have a conservative agenda due to his military service and interest in Silicon Valley   while others hail him as an opponent to white nationalism and a simple two points from landing in second place on the poll. 

After this, California Senator Kamala Harris is polled at 7 percent. Harris has also turned her attention to Iowa like Biden due to the lack of support in her candidacy. To further her agenda, Harris has emphasized her role as a former prosecutor to encourage President Trump to be held accountable for his actions, emphasizing safety in a recent NAACP event in South Carolina, and her Jewish husband has been more involved in the campaign process. However, to some Kamala Harris may have met her maker due to her unavailability to completely campaign for two days in Iowa. Yet, to the Des Moines Poll, there are signs that Harris may be doing better in the long run than Biden. 

Seven candidates received 1 percent support, and nine earn no support. This is because many candidates are not breaking out and actually appealing to Democrats. Candidates such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Florida Mayor Wayne Messam were not listed as either top two candidates by any pollster for president.

What this poll is entirely sure about? About two-thirds of voters want a candidate with a strong chance of beating Trump. Less important is the candidate sharing the same opinion on major issues. 

Photo: Medium 

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Mia Boccher
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