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How the 2020 candidates break down in the polls so far


Andrew Yang’s base is still a dude-fest, and Buttigieg’s supporters are the whitest voters you know.

Pew Research Center, 2020 marks the first year Hispanic voters will overtake black voters as the largest bloc of eligible minority voters.

Among the national front-runners, Bernie Sanders was the favorite among Democratic Hispanic voters — topping out as the first choice among 40 percent — before Joe Biden declared his candidacy. Since then, Sanders and Biden have been in a dead heat for this group’s vote, with neither breaking away from the scuffle through two Democratic debates.

Black voters still like Biden and Sanders but prefer Harris to Warren

While the Hispanic voting bloc is growing, these voters don’t make it to the polls at the same rate as black voters, who have turnout rates that are 10 to 20 points higher than Latinos’ turnout rates, according to Pew.

The candidates’ rankings among black voters has mirrored Democratic voters at-large, with one notable exception: Black voters consistently prefer Kamala Harris to Elizabeth Warren. But Biden’s lead among this critical demographic has remained stable and sizable in Morning Consult’s polling. At his best, Biden crested to 29 points above the next nearest candidate,  Bernie Sanders, the week before the first Democratic debate.

Elizabeth Warren 2020 election candidate

Bernard Sanders 2020 election candidate

Warren leads among the educated and rich, Sanders among the uneducated and poor

On economics, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders read from the same hymnbook. Both call for a progressive platform that includes redistributing wealth from the top 1 percent to support programs for Americans with low incomes. But despite similar policy positions, income seems to divide their Democratic supporters.

Among the poorest Democratic voters earning less than $50K a year, Sanders has consistently beat out Warren by almost 10 points. On the opposite end of the tax bracket, Warren has made strong gains among Americans whose earnings exceed six figures, taking a small lead over Sanders since the first Democratic debates in June.

Education has more sharply divided Sanders and Warren. As the campaign drew on, Warren became the more popular candidate among the most-educated Democrats. By mid-May, Warren overtook Sanders among voters with a postgraduate degree. Today, the more educated the voter, the more likely the voter is to support Warren. Sanders keeps a wide lead on those Americans who haven’t gone to college, and the two cut close on those with a bachelor’s degree.

Elizabeth Warren 2020 election candidate

Kamala Harris 2020 election candidate

Women prefer Warren to Harris, though support varies by race

Kamala Harris is Elizabeth Warren’s closest rival in Morning Consult’s poll. Among Democratic women, Warren established a lead over Harris in early April, a month after she announced her bid. Harris jumped Warren temporarily after her successful first debate spar with Joe Biden but fell back just as quickly.

Harris’ debate bump didn’t cost Warren her momentum. She continued to gain with women through it, though women’s support for both candidates splits along racial lines. Black women have always preferred Harris, and white women prefer Warren.

Peter Buttigieg 2020 election candidate

Robert O'Rourke 2020 election candidate

Buttigieg overtakes O’Rourke on oldest, richest and whitest voters; both do poorly with black voters

Beto O’Rourke was once a rising star in the 2020 Democratic field — until Pete Buttigieg arrived. Buttigieg quickly overtook O’Rourke after announcing his candidacy and established himself in the top five in Morning Consult’s poll.

After announcing, Buttigieg quickly topped O’Rourke as the preferred candidate, making the largest gains among white Democratic voters, those who earn more than $100K and voters older than 65.

Buttigieg leapfrogged O’Rourke with voters of all income brackets, ages and with white voters. He failed to have the same success with black voters, admitting he’s struggled to attract their support. As O’Rourke’s fall from media darling to middling candidate continued through the first two debates, both candidates found themselves in the basement of black support.

Struggling to attract more diverse support, the proportion of Buttigieg’s supporters who are white has been locked stubbornly well above 80 percent, often 15 points higher than the percent white voters make up of Democratic voters in our poll overall.

Andrew Yang 2020 election candidate

Andrew Yang’s dude base continues

Buttigieg is not the only candidate with a base that favors one demographic. Andrew Yang’s supporters are extremely male, making up as much as 70 percent of his base, 25 points higher than the percent of all Democratic primary voters who are men.

Yang’s strong male support may be linked to the source of his initial popularity: the internet. Specifically, forums like Reddit with a mostly white male user base. But even after successfully making both debate stages, his heavily male-dominated base hasn’t changed much.

Biden and Sanders keep their titles while the rest of the top five compete

Despite shifts among Democratic voting blocs, the top line has barely budged. Biden and Sanders have retained their grip on first and second place since the start of the race. The rest of the top five have swapped positions occasionally, but overall, it’s too early to tell whether more serious competition for the nomination is still to come.

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