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Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?

2 days
until the March debate
235 days
until Election Day

Each week, The Times is bringing you the latest political data and analysis to track the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Jump to: Overview Polls Campaign Money News Coverage

Current State of the Race

National polling averageNat. Polling
Pledged delegatesDelegates
Individual contributions†Individual contrib.†
Weekly news coverageWeekly media
45% 881 $69.7m #1
34% 725 $121.0m #2
< 1% 2 $11.1m #3
Dropped out March 5, 2020
Dropped out March 4
Dropped out March 2
Dropped out March 1
Dropped out Feb. 29
Dropped out Feb. 12
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
† Campaign finance data through Jan. 31.
Arrows show recent changes in value or rank.
Delegate data from The Associated Press as of March 13.

Here’s the latest.

March 13, 2020

Joseph R. Biden Jr. is now the overwhelming favorite in the Democratic race, amassing a substantial lead over Bernie Sanders in the delegate count and an even larger advantage in the polls. As of Friday, Mr. Biden had about 150 delegates more than Mr. Sanders, out of more than 1,770 allotted so far, with a number still left to be assigned from Washington State and California.

There have been only a few national polls since Super Tuesday, but they have reflected a dramatic shift in Mr. Biden’s favor — one that has lifted him far higher than he was even last spring, when he entered the campaign as a front-runner.

The withdrawal of several other candidates, including the progressive Elizabeth Warren, has largely led voters to rally around Mr. Biden. Mr. Biden is now ahead of Mr. Sanders in our polling average, 45 percent to 34 percent, but that almost certainly understates Mr. Biden’s advantage because it still includes several older polls taken before his national surge. (At the end of February, Mr. Biden was in the mid-teens in our polling average.)

So, is the race over? Not necessarily. Mr. Biden is not close to having the 1,991 delegates he needs to lock up the nomination, and Mr. Sanders can most likely bring in the money he needs to compete indefinitely. With a solid base that appears to make up at least a third of the party at this point, Mr. Sanders may be in a position to press his case for a while. But there is a difference between staying in the race to drive a message, and truly competing to win, and right now it is not clear how Mr. Sanders might be able to overcome Mr. Biden’s current lead.

Even in the darkest days of his campaign, Mr. Biden had a political firewall he hoped he could count on: the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29, which ultimately rescued his candidacy. Mr. Sanders has no such firewall on the calendar. Indeed, the next few rounds of primary elections appear to favor Mr. Biden, and the dynamics in states like Florida, Illinois and Georgia make it possible that Mr. Biden could build a delegate lead so wide as to be insurmountable.

If that were to happen, Mr. Sanders could be forced to consider the possibility that he might imperil the credibility of his agenda by continuing to wage a losing fight against Mr. Biden.

— Alexander Burns

Data through March 12

Who Is Leading the Polls?

National polls are a flawed tool for predicting elections. That’s even truer in a primary that unfolds 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 Gabbard
QuinnipiacQuinnipiac March 5-8 54 35 2
CNN/SSRSCNN/
SSRS
March 4-7 52 36
Fox NewsFox News Feb. 23-26 18 31 1
CBS News/YouGovCBS News/
YouGov
Feb. 20-22 17 28 1
ABC News/Washington PostABC News/
Washington Post
Feb. 14-17 16 32 1

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

On March 13 in previous election cycles ...

Primary Polling leader Eventual nominee?
2016 Democrats Hillary Clinton
2016 Republicans Donald J. Trump
2012 Republicans Mitt Romney
2008 Democrats Barack Obama
2008 Republicans John McCain
Source: RealClearPolitics
Data through Jan. 31

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. See full fund-raising numbers from January 2020 here »

Contributions, Jan.Contributions, Jan.
Bernie SandersSanders
$25.1m
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
$8.9m
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
$1.1m
Current numbers are as of the Jan. 31 filing deadline. The next filing deadline is March 20.·Source: Federal Election Commission
Data through March 11

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

CNN
Fox News
MSNBC
Joseph R. Biden Jr.Biden
97,992
Bernie SandersSanders
55,470
Tulsi GabbardGabbard
2,643
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
March 15 Eleventh primary debate
July 13-16 Democratic National Convention
Nov. 3 Election Day