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PUBLISHED Nov. 19, 2019, at 6:04 PM

Who Will Win The Fifth Democratic Debate?

We’re partnering with Ipsos to poll voters before and after the candidates take the stage.

Another Democratic debate, another poll! We’re once again partnering with Ipsos to track how Wednesday’s debate, hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC, affects likely primary voters’ feelings about the candidates. The FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll, conducted using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, will interview the same group of voters twice, on either side of the debate, to capture both the “before” and “after” picture.

The before picture

Who voters are considering

Share of respondents who are considering voting for each candidate

Respondents could pick multiple candidates or ‘someone else.’

The field may be consolidating a bit, but this hasn’t stopped many voters in our poll from saying they’re considering multiple candidates. More than half said they were considering Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were clustered close together at around 40 percent. Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris round out the top tier, but things taper off quickly after that. We’ll be tracking how this list of voters’ maybes changes after the debate. Are they considering fewer candidates? More? And which candidates gained or lost the most potential supporters?

The popularity contest

Candidates' favorable and unfavorable ratings among likely primary voters

Before debate
After debate

Respondents are also being asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the candidates so we can track which candidates are well liked and which ones aren’t. When paired with horse-race polls, favorability ratings can help tell us which candidates have room to expand their coalition and which may already be maxed out.

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Which matters most: policy positions … or winning?

Share of likely primary voters by whether, if they had to choose, they’d prefer a candidate who has a good chance of beating Trump or a candidate who agrees with them on the issues

Excludes respondents who chose ‘I don't know enough to say.’

We’re also asking voters what matters more to them — a candidate who agrees with them on the issues or someone who would be a strong candidate against President Trump. As you can see, about two-thirds of respondents prefer a candidate who can win the general election.

Who voters think can beat Trump

Respondents’ estimates of the likelihood, from 0 percent (impossible) to 100 percent (certain), that each candidate would beat Trump if they were the Democratic nominee

Joe Biden
Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Pete Buttigieg
Kamala Harris
Cory Booker
Amy Klobuchar
Andrew Yang
Tom Steyer
Tulsi Gabbard

Finally, we’re asking respondents to estimate each Democrat’s chances of defeating Trump — from 0 percent to 100 percent. Going into the debate, as in other general-election polls, Biden is still the candidate voters think is most likely to beat Trump, on average, though Warren and Sanders weren’t too far behind, and with Buttigieg and Harris are closing in as well.