Since it’s never too early to start the 2020 election cycle, CNN got out ahead of the pack this week and put a poll in the field in Iowa, the first caucus state for the presidential election. They were looking to see who the hot prospects for the nomination are. The results aren’t all that much different from some national polls we’ve already looked it, but there were a few juicy bits of goodness in there.
At the top of the pack (as usual) were Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The only real shocker was to see Beto O’Rourke moving up into third place. But there was one name missing from notable contention and Chris Cillizza read the tea leaves. Iowa Democrats have pretty much no interest in seeing Hillary Clinton darkening their doorways for a third try. (CNN)
Hillary is a non-starter
There is some chatter within the Democratic Party that Clinton, who has run for president twice before unsuccessfully, might try one more time. This poll suggests that Democrats simply are not pining for her to run. More Democrats view her unfavorably (49%) than view her favorably (47%). But it gets worse! More than one in five (22%) have a “very” unfavorable view of Clinton while 26% have a mostly unfavorable view. Just 17% have a “very” favorable view. But it gets even worse. Almost three-quarters — 72% — think she would detract more than she would add to the race. Reminder: This is among Democrats! Not good.
This clearly not a case of Hillary Clinton just being “less interesting” to Iowa voters than others. Her favorable numbers are underwater, with nearly a quarter of them seeing her “very unfavorably.” And that figure regarding whether she would “add to” or “detract from” the race by being in it at all is just brutal. She lost that one by more than 70%. So it’s not just case of liking someone else better. Iowa Democrats don’t even want her on the stage.
But if it’s not Hillary, then what about the Year of the Women? Well… anyone hoping for that outcome in Iowa has a lot of work to do. The top four candidates are all men. Biden gets 30%, Sanders pulls 14, O’Rourke gets 9, and Cory Booker gets 5%. The first woman we see on the list is Kamala Harris who ties John Kerry (!) with 4%. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar show up with 3% each.
CNN is busy pushing Beto’s chances, describing how his score may not be high but his name recognition is low so he has “lots of room to grow.” That may be true, but do the Democrats really want to run the guy with a different record of “running?” (As in away from the scene of a DWI crash.) Time will tell. But if Hillary Clinton is really thinking about a third shot at the brass ring, she may want to consider this poll and think again.