153. That’s the combined age of the two white men atop a new Iowa poll of presidential candidates preferred by likely 2020 Democratic caucusgoers. No women and no people of color reached double-digit support. And that’s what we’re facing in our first glimpse of the most critical presidential race of our lifetimes, at least in Iowa.
The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden, who is 76, in the lead, with 32% of respondents saying he’s their first choice to face Donald Trump in 2020 (if Trump is still around by then). Biden is followed by Bernie Sanders, 77, who received 19%, and Beto O’Rourke, 46, with 11%.
No other potential candidates received double-digit, first-choice support in the poll of 455 likely Democratic caucusgoers, conducted Dec. 10-13.
Elizabeth Warren came in after O’Rourke with 8%, while Kamala Harris received 5%, and no one else—including Hillary Clinton—received above 5%. Sorry, Hillary.
According to the Des Moines Register, here’s what these numbers tell us: The country’s first presidential caucus state prefers someone with political experience instead of a newcomer. Nearly half of those polled said a “seasoned political hand” is needed to beat Trump.
Nevertheless, for those hoping to see new faces, there is room for optimism. Thirty-six percent of those polled said a newcomer is best-suited to defeat the current occupant of the White House, according to the Register. As it currently stands in Iowa, that would be O’Rourke, who appears to have former President Barack Obama’s political operation willing to jump in to support him.
J. Ann Selzer, president of the firm that conducted the poll, said there’s “some welcoming of newcomers who are only now starting to come to the state and get to know the people who could shape their future.”
The most important goal, these caucusgoers say, is to beat Trump in 2020. According to CNN, 54% said they want a candidate who can defeat Trump versus 40% who want one that shares their positions on major issues.
Another interesting detail is that Iowa caucusgoers seem to prefer a race with several strong contenders (52%) instead of one strong candidate emerging early as a frontrunner (41%), CNN said. This shows that Iowans are keeping an open mind, unlike Democrats nationwide, who seem to prefer a single dominating candidate at the outset. Plus, most Iowans seem willing to back whoever the Democratic nomination will eventually be.