Reuters/Ipsos Core Political Survey: 2020 Democratic Primary Tracker (09/11/2019)

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren are the top contenders in the Democratic Primary.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, D.C., September 11, 2019 - In the latest Reuters/Ipsos Core Political Survey, we examine how Americans view Democratic presidential candidates leading up to the next round of Democratic primary debates on September 12th. Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to hold his lead in the race, receiving 30 percent of the vote share among Democratic registered voters, statistically unchanged from last month (28%). Senator Bernie Sanders still holds second place with 19% of the vote share – but 4 points less than his polling figure in August. Senator Elizabeth Warren has held on to her third-place rank with 14% of the vote share. Senator Kamala Harris (5%) and Pete Buttigieg (5%) make up the remaining of the top 5 candidates. All other candidates receive 3 points or less of the vote share.  

Familiarity of candidates is largely unchanged: Americans continue to be most familiar with the front runners of the campaign: Joe Biden (80%), Bernie Sanders (80%), Elizabeth Warren (59%) and Kamala Harris (50%), and Pete Buttigieg (35%). The front runners enjoy even higher familiarity among Democratic registered voters (90% for Biden, 88% for Sanders, 72% for Warren, 66% for Harris, and 46% for Buttigieg).

More than half of Americans feel favorably towards the three front runners - Biden (54%), Sanders (56%), and Warren (52%). Two of the less familiar candidates, Andrew Yang (52%) and Pete Buttigieg (47%), have continued to receive high favorability ratings. Harris is seen favorably by 45 percent of Americans. Among Democratic registered voters, Sanders (84%) takes the lead for favorability, with Biden (81%) second and Warren (80%) third. Harris (73%), Beto O’Rourke (73%), Buttigieg (71%), and Yang (71%) are the next most favored candidates among Democratic registered voters.

One in three Americans (33%) and registered voters (34%) believe the country is headed in the right direction. Only one in 10 Democratic voters feel the same way (10%). Republicans feel much more optimistic – two-thirds of Republican registered voters say the country is headed in the right direction (65%).

Forty-three percent of Americans and 44 percent of registered voters approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president. His approval rates fall along party lines - only 11 percent of Democratic registered voters approve of his performance, compared to 84 percent of Republicans.

Americans maintain that immigration is the most significant problem facing the U.S. today (18%), followed closely by healthcare (16%), and the economy in general (12%). The top concerns are about the same the same for registered voters (19% for immigration, 16% for healthcare, and 11% for the economy generally). However, priorities fall differently when looking at party loyalties. Democratic registered voters indicate healthcare as the top issue (23%), where Republican registered voters point to immigration (34%).

About this Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters between Sept 9-10, 2019. For the survey, a sample of 1,116 Americans, including 992 registered voters, 472 Democrat registered voters, 396 Republican registered voters, and 85 Independent registered voters ages 18+ were interviewed online. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for all adults, 3.5 percentage points for registered voters, 5.6 percentage points for Democratic registered voters, 4.0 percentage points for Republican registered voters, and 12.1 percentage points for Independent registered voters. For more information about credibility intervals, please see the appendix.

The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, education, and ethnicity. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Figures marked by an asterisk (*) indicate a percentage value of greater than zero but less than one half of one per cent. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. To see more information on this and other Reuters/Ipsos polls, please visit

For more information on this news release please contact:

Clifford Young
President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a global independent market research company. Our team of 18,000 across 90 countries serves 5,000 clients and undertakes 70,000 different projects each year. Our polling practice is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

As a global research and insights organization, Ipsos aims to make our changing world easier and faster to navigate and to inspire our clients to make smarter decisions. We are committed to driving the industry with innovative, best-in-class research techniques that are meaningful in today’s connected society. We deliver research with security, speed, simplicity, and substance. Our tagline “Game Changers” summarizes our ambition.

Ipsos is committed to building an organization dedicated to a single endeavor: providing our clients with the best service, using qualitative or quantitative methods, at local, regional, and international levels. This is what drives us to ask and probe, to subject our hypotheses to rigorous analyses, and, finally, to deliver reliable data and the most effective recommendations in the shortest time possible.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,749.5 million in 2018.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs