Poll: Most Democratic voters say race not a factor in 2020 campaign

Despite Democrats' efforts to show diversity among the large field of 2020 presidential candidates, a new poll says that doesn't really matter very much to voters


There are a number of issues that Democratic voters care about in the 2020 race for the White House, but the diversity among the candidates is not one of them, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday.

In the survey of 801 adults running from April 11-15, about 87 percent said race of the nominee does not matter and only 5 percent responded that Democrats should nominate a person of color, according to the poll. Of the 801 respondents contacted by telephone, 330 identified as Democrats.

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“This is the most diverse field of presidential candidates in history, but that doesn’t seem to be a major consideration for Democratic voters at this early stage of the campaign,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

When it comes to support, the two most prominent Black Democratic candidates are somewhere in the middle to lower end of the field, the poll shows. Both of them generated slightly less support than previous polls in March and in January.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California has 8 percent support, down slightly from the 10 percent she generated in March and the 11 percent she drew in January, according to the poll. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey generated 2 percent in support, compared to 5 percent he drew in March and 4 percent in January.

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Among women candidates, Harris was leading the way in terms of support, followed by Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts, who generated 6 percent, compared to 8 percent in March and in January, the poll showed.

Among the announced and potential Democratic candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden was attracting the most support at 27 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, the poll shows. Those figures are down slightly from 28 percent in March and 29 percent in January.

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic U.S. senator from Vermont, now has 20 percent support, according to the poll. That is a drop from the 25 percent he generated in March, but still a rise from the 16 percent he attracted in January.

“If Biden does enter the race this week, he starts off with a fairly stable amount of good will from Democrats,” Murray said. “We might even expect to see a small bump after his announcement, but the bigger question will be what happens when those voters start taking a closer look at him on the campaign trail.”