A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll found that the most popular Democratic candidate for 2020 is… “someone new.”
With a 45% plurality, “someone new” topped the other candidates by double digits. The second most popular was Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is technically an Independent, with 14%. Eight percent said that Hillary Clinton should be the Democratic candidate in 2020, having already won the popular vote in the 2008 Democratic primaries by 272,809 and the 2016 presidential election by almost 3 million.
If Hillary was out of the running, Bernie jumped four points to 18%. Michelle Obama, who has stated that she will not run for office, came in behind Bernie Sanders in both scenarios, 11% with Hillary, 14% without. Elizabeth Warren received 9% with Hillary and 10% without.
The other candidates listed – Mark Cuban, Oprah Winfrey, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker – all polled between 3 and 4%.
Similar polling commissioned by former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out of the 2016 Democratic primaries after receiving less than 1% of Iowa delegates, found that “not sure” won by a 32% plurality with Iowan Democratic caucus-goers. O’Malley came in second with 18%, then Sen. Booker with 17% and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York with 11%. The other candidates – former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz – only registered in single digits.
These polls indicate that despite speculation from political fanatics, Democratic voters are far from ready to support any particular candidate in 2020. Right now, there isn’t much to be excited about. Bernie Sanders will be 78 by the 2020 election, Michelle Obama strongly dislikes politics, Martin O’Malley made no impression on voters in 2016, and no other speculative candidates seem to garner much enthusiasm, or even recognition. Kamala Harris, a rising star in the eyes of many progressives, is still unknown to a 46% plurality of people in her own state.
But we’re still several years away from 2020. “Someone new” can’t be the only hope we have against Donald Trump and the Republicans. Democrats need to take action now to win back state seats and rebuild the party from the ground up. Trickle-down economic systems don’t work, and neither do trickle-down parties.