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Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?

3 days
until the Iowa caucuses
277 days
until Election Day

Each week, The Times is bringing you the latest political data and analysis to track how the 11 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 Feb. 7 debate*
National polling averageNat. Polling
Iowa polling averageIowa Polling
Individual contributions†Individual contrib.†
Weekly news coverageWeekly media
27% 22% $37.6m #1
24% 22% $61.5m #2
14% 15% $49.8m #3
8% < 1% #6
7% 18% $51.5m #5
5% 8% $13.9m #4
4% 3% $15.1m #8
2% 3% $2.0m #9
< 1% 1% $6.5m #7
< 1% 0% #11
< 1% < 1% $4.9m #10
Dropped out Jan. 31, 2020
Dropped out Jan. 13
Dropped out Jan. 10
Dropped out Jan. 2
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. 31, 2020

The story of the race right now, in Iowa and nationally, is the rise of Bernie Sanders. In our polling average at the national and state levels, Mr. Sanders appears to have gained substantial ground in recent weeks, overtaking Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Iowa, nipping at his national lead and raising huge sums of money online to power his insurgent candidacy. Should Mr. Sanders win the Iowa caucuses on Monday, it could be a major turning point in the race and the most serious test yet of Mr. Biden’s political tenacity.

A Sanders victory in Iowa is no foregone conclusion. Mr. Biden continues to hold a solid base of support, particularly among older voters; in some Iowa polls he still has an edge over Mr. Sanders. And beyond the earliest, whitest states on the primary calendar, Mr. Biden is still the clear favorite among minority voters, who are usually decisive in settling the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

But Mr. Biden’s strength at the national level is also built on the perception — among voters and political donors — that he has the best chance against President Trump in the general election. Losing to Mr. Sanders in one or more of the early states could shake that perception and make it harder to replenish his campaign’s bank account.

Most polls in Iowa show a close race, between not just Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders but also Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. Both Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg have fallen in the Iowa polls since the fall, and Mr. Buttigieg has taken an abrupt dip over the last month. But the Iowa caucuses also tend to reward candidates with strong field organizations, and both Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg are seen as having some of the most sophisticated turnout machinery in the state. With both of them polling in the mid-teens, either could be in a position to outperform those numbers.

There are two other trends worth noting: First, Amy Klobuchar has finally shown real upward movement in Iowa. Her gains have been slow and perhaps too gradual to produce the upset she needs, but her movement is real enough to raise the hopes of her supporters.

And second, Michael R. Bloomberg has overtaken Mr. Buttigieg in national polls, if only by one percentage point. It is the first time Mr. Bloomberg has been the fourth-place candidate in our polling average, a notable marker as he awaits the chance to exploit any early stumbles by Mr. Biden.

— Alexander Burns

Data through Jan. 31

Who Is Leading the Polls?

The Iowa caucuses are Monday, marking the first contest of the 2020 presidential election. Here’s how the candidates have polled in the state.

Iowa Polling Average

Candidate polling average

Individual polls shown on hover

Individual polls shown on tap

Latest Iowa Polls

Pollster Date Biden Sanders Buttigieg Warren Klobuchar
MonmouthMonmouth Jan. 23-27 23 21 16 15 10
USA Today/SuffolkUSA Today/
Jan. 23-26 25 19 18 13 6
The New York Times/Siena CollegeThe New York Times/
Siena College
Jan. 20-23 17 25 18 15 8
CBS News/YouGovCBS News/
Jan. 16-23 25 26 22 15 7
MonmouthMonmouth Jan. 9-12 24 18 17 15 8
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.

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.

National Polling Average

Candidate polling average

Individual polls shown on hover

Individual polls shown on tap

Latest National Polls

Pollster Date Biden Sanders Warren Bloomberg Buttigieg
NBC News/Wall Street JournalNBC News/
Wall Street Journal
Jan. 26-29 26 27 15 9 7
QuinnipiacQuinnipiac Jan. 22-27 26 21 15 8 6
ABC News/Washington PostABC News/
Washington Post
Jan. 20-23 32 23 12 8 5
Fox NewsFox News Jan. 19-22 26 23 14 10 7
MonmouthMonmouth Jan. 16-20 30 23 14 9 6

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

On Jan. 31 in previous election cycles ...

Primary Polling leader Eventual nominee?
2016 Democrats Hillary Clinton
2016 Republicans Donald J. Trump
2012 Republicans Newt Gingrich
2008 Democrats Hillary Clinton
2008 Republicans John McCain
Source: RealClearPolitics

We are keeping an eye on other states, too. Next up after Iowa are New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Latest Polls in Other Early Voting States

N.H. Jan. 20-23 Nev. Jan. 8-11 S.C. Jan. 5-8
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
15 19 36
Bernie SandersSanders
22 18 14
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
13 11 10
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
17 8 4
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
10 4 1
Andrew YangYang
5 4 2
Tom SteyerSteyer
3 8 15
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
6 1 1
Deval PatrickPatrick
1 0 0
Michael BennetBennet
1 0 0
+ View all candidates
Sources: NBC News/Marist Poll (New Hampshire poll), USA Today/Suffolk (Nevada poll), Fox News (South Carolina 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 »

Bernie SandersSanders
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
Andrew YangYang
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
Michael BennetBennet
Tom SteyerSteyer
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. 29

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

Fox News
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
Bernie SandersSanders
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
Tom SteyerSteyer
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
Andrew YangYang
Michael BennetBennet
Deval PatrickPatrick
+ 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

Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses
Feb. 7 Eighth primary debate
Feb. 11 New Hampshire primaries
Feb. 20 Nevada Democratic caucuses
Feb. 29 South Carolina Democratic primary
March 3 Super Tuesday
July 13-16 Democratic National Convention
Nov. 3 Election Day