Joe Biden heads the 2020 Democratic field in early Iowa poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont lead the field among likely Democratic voters in the party's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in Iowa, according to a new poll.

Biden, a former senator from Delaware, has 27 percent and Sanders, a long-time independent who calls himself a Democratic socialist, has 25 percent. The latest CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll also finds that Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has 9 percent; Sen. Kamala Harris of California has 7 percent; former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas has 5 percent, and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota are tied at 3 percent.

All the other announced or possible candidates listed in the survey lag badly. The names of 20 candidates or possible candidates were tested.

A candidate will need at least 1 percent in national polls to be included in party debates sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.

When a similar poll was taken last December, Biden led Sanders by 13 points so he has slipped since then. Sanders has recently announced his candidacy while Biden says he is still trying to decide whether to run.

Sanders ran a strong race in 2016 but lost the nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It's still early in Iowa -- the caucuses aren't scheduled until Feb. 3, 2020 -- and the standings are almost certain to shift in the coming months. But the poll does give a rough measure of where the main contenders stand at the start of the contest.

The survey also finds that 83 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa want a nominee who will try to unite the country, while 13 percent want to focus on stoking Democratic anger against Republican President Donald Trump.

About 67 percent want a candidate who fully supports raising taxes on the rich, defined in the poll as those with more than $50 million in assets.

Copyright 2019 U.S. News & World Report

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