Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?Skip to Comments
The comments section is closed. To submit a letter to the editor for publication, write to

Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?

1 day
until the Nev. Dem. caucuses
256 days
until Election Day

Each week, The Times is bringing you the latest political data and analysis to track how the eight 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. 25 debate*
National polling averageNat. Polling
Pledged delegatesDelegates
Individual contributions†Individual contrib.†
Weekly news coverageWeekly media
28% 21 $95.9m #1
16% 6 $60.8m #2
15% #5
13% 8 $71.1m #6
10% 22 $76.2m #3
7% 7 $25.3m #4
2% $2.9m #7
< 1% $10.0m #8
Dropped out Feb. 12, 2020
Dropped out Feb. 11
Dropped out Feb. 11
Dropped out Jan. 31
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 Dec. 31, 2019.
Arrows show recent changes in value or rank.

Here’s the latest.

Feb. 21, 2020

Bernie Sanders is looking more and more like the clear front-runner, as he steadily adds to his support while the rest of the field remains divided.

Mr. Sanders has the support of nearly three in 10 Democratic voters nationwide — a strong faction, though not an overwhelming plurality. It has become a more convincing advantage, however, in a race in which no other candidate has emerged as a focal point for opposition to Mr. Sanders. Between the rise of Michael R. Bloomberg and the recent plunge of Joseph R. Biden Jr., there are now four candidates polling in the low- to mid-teens, and no one besides Mr. Sanders with support above 20 percent.

So far, there is little evidence of a national surge for either Pete Buttigieg, who essentially tied with Mr. Sanders in Iowa and nearly matched him in New Hampshire, or Amy Klobuchar, who became a surprise third-place finisher in New Hampshire. Both have ticked up slightly, but they are still running behind all the other major candidates.

That picture may or may not hold for long: Our national polling average does not reflect any impact from the most recent debate in Nevada, where Mr. Bloomberg struggled badly and Elizabeth Warren delivered what was seen as her strongest performance of the campaign. And the Nevada caucuses this weekend have the potential to boost Mr. Sanders further.

Mr. Sanders’s rivals may be running out of time to catch up. If his current advantage persists until the Super Tuesday primaries on March 3, there is a chance he could take a decisive lead in the delegate count.

Still, there are reasons to believe the race may not be over anytime soon. Scattered polling in the Super Tuesday states has found Mr. Biden fairly resilient in places with large African-American populations, leaving him a plausible path to a comeback. Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren have both reported a huge influx of money after their recent debate victories, suggesting there is still a sizable well of online fund-raising available to candidates besides Mr. Sanders. And of course, money is no object for Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who is financing his own campaign.

But Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign is also facing an awkward reality: His candidacy was supposed to be a bulwark against Mr. Sanders, but so far its main effect has been to fragment the moderate wing of the party. To overtake Mr. Sanders, he will need to close hard in the Super Tuesday states, and that almost certainly means performing far better in next week’s South Carolina debate.

— Alexander Burns

Data through Feb. 20

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.

National Polling Average

Candidate polling average

Individual polls shown on hover

Individual polls shown on tap

Latest National Polls

Pollster Date Sanders Biden Bloomberg Warren Buttigieg
ABC News/Washington PostABC News/
Washington Post
Feb. 14-17 32 16 14 12 8
NBC News/Wall Street JournalNBC News/
Wall Street Journal
Feb. 14-17 27 15 14 14 13
NPRNPR Feb. 13-16 31 15 19 12 8
QuinnipiacQuinnipiac Feb. 5-9 25 17 15 14 10
MonmouthMonmouth Feb. 6-9 26 16 11 13 13

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

On Feb. 21 in previous election cycles ...

Primary Polling leader Eventual nominee?
2016 Democrats Hillary Clinton
2016 Republicans Donald J. Trump
2012 Republicans Rick Santorum
2008 Democrats Barack Obama
2008 Republicans John McCain
Source: RealClearPolitics

We are keeping an eye on state-level polling, too. The next two states to vote are Nevada and South Carolina.

Latest Polls in Nevada and South Carolina

S.C. Feb. 9-19 Nev. Jan. 8-11
Bernie SandersSanders
19 18
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
24 19
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
6 11
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
7 8
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
4 4
Tom SteyerSteyer
15 8
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
1 1
Sources: Winthrop University (South Carolina poll), USA Today/Suffolk (Nevada poll)
Data through Dec. 31, 2019

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. Candidates will begin filing every month beginning Feb. 20. See full fund-raising numbers from the final quarter of 2019 here »

Bernie SandersSanders
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
Tom SteyerSteyer
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
Mr. Bloomberg, who joined the race after the third quarter filing deadline, is running a self-funded campaign and is not accepting contributions from donors. Other candidates in the chart without donation numbers joined the race after the financial disclosure reporting deadline. Current numbers are as of the Jan. 31 filing deadline. The next filing deadline is Feb. 20.·Source: Federal Election Commission
Data through Feb. 19

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 Since 2019

Fox News
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
Bernie SandersSanders
Elizabeth WarrenWarren
Pete ButtigiegButtigieg
Amy KlobucharKlobuchar
Michael R. BloombergBloomberg
Tom SteyerSteyer
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
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.

Follow Our Coverage

Key Dates

Feb. 22 Nevada Democratic caucuses
Feb. 29 South Carolina Democratic primary
March 3 Super Tuesday
July 13-16 Democratic National Convention
Nov. 3 Election Day