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Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?

4 days
until the Jan. debate
298 days
until Election Day

Each week, The Times is bringing you the latest political data and analysis to track how the 14 Democratic presidential candidates are doing and who is breaking out of the pack in the historic race for the 2020 nomination.

Jump to: Overview Polls Campaign Money News Coverage

Current State of the Race

Qualified for the January debate*
National polling averagePolling Average
Individual contributions†Individual contrib.†
Weekly news coverageWeekly media
27% $37.6m #1
19% $61.5m #2
16% $49.8m #3
9% $51.5m #4
5% #8
4% $13.9m #9
3% $15.1m #5
2% $15.5m #7
1% $6.5m #10
< 1% $2.0m #6
< 1% $4.9m #12
< 1% $2.4m #14
< 1% $6.1m #11
< 1% #13
Dropped out Jan. 2, 2020
Dropped out Dec. 3, 2019
Steve BullockBullock
Dropped out Dec. 2
Joe SestakSestak
Dropped out Dec. 1
Wayne MessamMessam
Dropped out Nov. 20
Dropped out Nov. 1
Tim RyanRyan
Dropped out Oct. 24
Bill de Blasiode Blasio
Dropped out Sept. 20
Kirsten GillibrandGillibrand
Dropped out Aug. 28
Seth MoultonMoulton
Dropped out Aug. 23
Jay InsleeInslee
Dropped out Aug. 21
John HickenlooperHickenlooper
Dropped out Aug. 15
Eric SwalwellSwalwell
Dropped out July 8
+ View all candidates
* Meets polling and donor thresholds set by the Democratic National Committee.
† Campaign finance data through Sept. 30.
Arrows show recent changes in value or rank.

Here’s the latest.

Jan. 10, 2020

We have less than a month to go until the Iowa caucuses, and in the early states, the race is looking more like a traffic jam. The top four candidates — Joseph R. Biden Jr., Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg — are all closely matched in both Iowa and New Hampshire, according to the most recent polls. And all of them appear to have ample resources to wage a fierce campaign at least through the month of February.

Looked at from one angle, that’s encouraging news for Mr. Biden, who spent much of the summer and fall watching his numbers deteriorate in the early nominating states. Now, he has a realistic chance of a strong finish — perhaps even victory — in both Iowa and New Hampshire. In the next two states, Nevada and South Carolina, a pair of polls found him a clear leader. If he builds momentum throughout February, he could be a dominant front-runner by the time Super Tuesday rolls around in early March.

But if that is a plausible outcome for Mr. Biden, so is the opposite: a disappointing slump in Iowa and New Hampshire, even a fourth-place finish in one or both, followed by a nomination fight against candidates like Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren or perhaps Michael R. Bloomberg, all of whom have spent more time building up their campaign machinery outside the early states. If the race turns into a state-by-state battle for delegates, Mr. Biden could end up at a financial and organizational disadvantage.

Mr. Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar may also be at a disadvantage if the primary becomes a monthslong battle, because so far, they have focused their attention almost exclusively on the earliest states.

But there is a cloud of uncertainty over the state of the race: We have still not seen new, high-quality national polling since before the holidays. The early-state polls have been sparse, too. It is also not too late for a plot twist: In Nevada and South Carolina, for instance, Fox News polls this week found Tom Steyer leaping suddenly into the double digits.

Most of all, the race is unfolding under extraordinarily tumultuous circumstances, involving military conflict with Iran and the impeachment of President Trump. It is impossible to predict with real confidence how these events might shape the campaign.

At the moment, however, those external forces seem to be consuming the political energy and media attention that a number of underdog candidates were hoping to use for their own purposes in these final weeks before voting begins. Candidates like Andrew Yang, Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard are now unlikely to qualify for next week’s debate, depriving them of the last really good chance to earn a late surge of support.

— Alexander Burns

Data through Jan. 9

Who Is Leading the Polls?

National polls are a flawed tool for predicting elections. That’s even truer in a primary that will unfold in stages, with one or several states voting at a time. But the broad national picture is still important, offering a sense of which candidates are gaining support overall.

Candidate polling average

Individual polls shown on hover

Individual polls shown on tap

Latest National Polls

Pollster Date Biden Sanders Warren Buttigieg Bloomberg
NBC News/Wall Street JournalNBC News/
Wall Street Journal
Dec. 14-17 28 21 18 9 4
CNN/SSRSCNN/
SSRS
Dec. 12-15 26 20 16 8 5
QuinnipiacQuinnipiac Dec. 11-15 30 16 17 9 7
USA Today/SuffolkUSA Today/
Suffolk
Dec. 10-14 23 14 13 8 6
NPRNPR Dec. 9-11 24 22 17 13 4
The New York Times polling averages use pollsters approved by the D.N.C. for debate inclusion requirements. Polls conducted more recently and polls with a larger sample size are given greater weight in computing the averages. Data is for registered voters or likely voters, depending on the poll. See the full list of D.N.C.-approved pollsters here.

Remember, political fortunes can shift rapidly in a national campaign.

On Jan. 10 in previous election cycles ...

Primary Polling leader Eventual nominee?
2016 Democrats Hillary Clinton
2016 Republicans Donald J. Trump
2012 Republicans Mitt Romney
2008 Democrats Hillary Clinton
2008 Republicans Mike Huckabee
Source: RealClearPolitics

We are keeping an eye on state-level polling, too, especially in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Latest Polls in Early Voting States

S.C. Jan. 5-8 Nev. Jan. 5-8 N.H. Jan. 3-7 Iowa Dec. 27 - Jan. 3
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
36 23 19 23
Bernie SandersSanders
14 17 18 23
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
10 12 15 16
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
4 6 20 23
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
2 2
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
1 2 6 7
Andrew YangYang
2 4 3 2
Cory BookerBooker
2 3 1 2
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
1 2 4 1
Tom SteyerSteyer
15 12 4 2
Michael BennetBennet
0 0 2 0
John DelaneyDelaney
0 0 0 0
Marianne WilliamsonWilliamson
0 1 0 0
Deval PatrickPatrick
0 0 0 0
+ View all candidates
Sources: Fox News (South Carolina, Nevada polls), Monmouth (New Hampshire poll), CBS News/YouGov (Iowa poll)
Data through Sept. 30

Who Is Leading the Money Race?

Presidential campaigns are expensive, and candidates’ ability to compete often depends on their prowess at collecting large sums of money. Candidates used to focus on courting a few thousand wealthy individuals; many now spend more time raising money in small increments from millions of people online.

These statistics show which candidates are inspiring financial enthusiasm, either from a cluster of deep-pocketed donors or from a larger army of supporters. We only get an occasional glimpse at these numbers, however, since candidates file fund-raising reports on a quarterly basis. Candidates must file numbers for the fourth quarter of 2019 by Jan. 31. See full fund-raising numbers from the third quarter here »

Contributions,
July-Sept.
Contributions,
July-Sept.
Contributions,
April-June
Contributions,
April-June
Bernie SandersSanders
$25.2m
$18.0m
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
$24.6m
$19.2m
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
$19.1m
$24.9m
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
$15.7m
$22.0m
Andrew YangYang
$9.9m
$2.8m
Cory BookerBooker
$6.0m
$4.5m
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
$4.8m
$3.9m
Marianne WilliamsonWilliamson
$3.1m
$1.5m
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
$3.0m
$1.6m
Michael BennetBennet
$2.1m
$2.8m
Tom SteyerSteyer
$2.0m
John DelaneyDelaney
$0.5m
$0.3m
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
Deval PatrickPatrick
+ View all candidates
Candidates in the chart without donation numbers joined the race after the financial disclosure reporting deadline. Current numbers are as of Sept. 30. The next filing deadline is Jan. 31.·Source: Federal Election Commission
Data through Jan. 8

Who Is Getting News Coverage?

A candidate’s ability to make news and draw the attention of voters — and cameras — is a major asset in any campaign. This statistic tracks which candidates are breaking through on cable television, which helps drive perceptions of the race among highly engaged voters and the wider media.

Being talked about isn’t always a good thing: It can also mean a candidate made a major mistake or confronted damaging information from his or her past.

Total Mentions in 2019

CNN
Fox News
MSNBC
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
71,399
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
27,697
Bernie SandersSanders
26,444
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
10,677
Cory BookerBooker
7,820
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
4,207
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
3,000
Tom SteyerSteyer
2,576
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
2,220
Andrew YangYang
1,974
John DelaneyDelaney
868
Marianne WilliamsonWilliamson
636
Michael BennetBennet
628
Deval PatrickPatrick
563
+ View all candidates
Mentions are the number of 15-second clips in which a candidate’s full name is mentioned on any of the three cable news networks. A more detailed methodology can be found here.·Source: Internet Archive's Television News Archive via the GDELT Project.

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Key Dates

2020
Jan. 14 Seventh primary debate
Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses
July 13-16 Democratic National Convention
Nov. 3 Election Day