Former Vice President Joe Biden (28%) and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (20%) are still the best places in the big democratic field. Harris now has 12% support among independent Democrats and Democrats, down from 4% in December, and the youngest participant in the field – former Texas Congressman Beto O & Rourke – stands at 11%.
Harris's rise is on the board – there is no larger demographic group in which she has lost support since December – but her gains are more pronounced among Democrats (+10 points) than at Independents (+5), Liberals (+5). +10)) more than moderate or conservative (+7), women (+9) more than men (+6) and racial and ethnic minorities (+10) more than whites (+6).
Beyond the top four, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (6%), former Secretary of State John Kerry (4%), New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (3%) and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (3%) complete the group get more than 1
The poll also finds excitement over next year's voting, surpassing the level of a presidential contest since the turn of the century. Four out of ten respondents say they are "extremely enthusiastic" because they chose the president, which was well beyond the early reading hours at previous presidential contests. CNN started asking this question for the first time in the 2004 election cycle, and the last peak among registered voters was 37% just a few days before the 2008 elections.
But unlike the previous election last year, when Democratic enthusiasm brought the party to a majority in the House of Representatives, the energy is now higher among the Republicans. Nearly six out of ten self-identified Republicans (57%) say they are extremely enthusiastic for the presidential election, compared with 46% for the Democrats and 26% for the Independents.
This could be because it is a bit easier for a voter to get excited if they have a good sense of who the standard bearer of their party will be. And the Republicans are largely in agreement with the president.
Three quarters (76%) of Republican and Republican independent independents say the party should appoint Trump 2020, a figure that has remained fairly stable over the last year. Almost 8 out of 10 respondents say that the party with Trump at the wheel has a better chance (78%) than another person at the top of the ticket (17%). This is a dramatic turnaround from the 2015 main season, when a majority of Republican and Republican independents believed that the party would have a better chance if another candidate would lead the ticket.
Almost six out of ten Democrats and democratically leaning independents view their field at this point as wide open. Only 37% say there are one or two candidates who want to win the Democratic nomination. Of those who have favorites, the first four have their lead: 33% in this group behind Biden, 22% in the direction of Sanders, 13% in Harris and O & Rourke, while the others test less than 5%.
A majority of Democratic Party members say they would rather see the party nominating a candidate who has a great chance of beating Trump (56%), while 35% think that the positions of one Candidates have priority over the suitability.
This preference for fitness seems to work the most against Sanders. Among those who prefer someone who can beat Trump are Biden with 32%, followed by Harris with 16%, Sanders with 14% and O & Rourke with 11%. Those seeking ideological purity prefer Sanders (31% to him, 21% Biden, 11% O & Rourke and 7% Harris).
Directly asking if Democrats with Sanders at the top have a better chance 56% of Democrats Democrats say the party's odds are better without Sanders. Asked on the same question to Biden, 51% say that the party with Biden has a better chance than without him.
These numbers indicate that at least part of the support for Biden and Sanders is based on something more than just that they are the best-known candidates in the field. However, it also raises the question of whether both can expand their support as the campaign progresses and voters get to know their competitors.
Biden's support, for example, reaches 30% among the moderate and conservative Democrats. However, Biden was unable to hold its own against December, while O & Rourke, whose score with this group increased from 27% to 40% over the same period, scored 5 points in the horse race.
It's still possible for these well-known players to get an announcement error, and as the most frequently-notified candidate in the field, Biden can still benefit from making it official.
Sanders announced that he had run on February 19, and his total rose from 14% in December to now 20%. Its cheapness rating remains unchanged among the Democrats (around three-quarters considered it positive in December and now say it in equal proportions), but has suffered a blow outside the party (cheap from 51% and 35% unfavorable in December from all adults) 46% low, now 43% unfavorable.
The poll also shows that Democrats and Republicans have very different topics when they think about next year's elections. For Republicans, immigration and the economy are by far the most important, followed by considerations of a candidate's ideology or positions in general. On the democratic side, they weigh a candidate's personal qualities, immigration, economics and health care equally.
The CNN survey was conducted by SSRS from March 14 to 17 on a random national sample of 1,003 reachable landline adults or cell phones by a live interviewer. The results for the entire sample show a margin of variation of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. For the sub-sample of 456 independent Democrats and Democrats, this is 5.7 points, and for the subgroup of 448 Republican and Republican Independents it is 5.5 points.