Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to top the list when the potential Democratic Electorate is asked who they are most likely to support the nomination, with 30% saying they would back him. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lands in second with 14%. Support for each is about the same as in October. O'Rourke lands in third with 9%, up 5 points since October. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker follows at 5%. California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have each dropped 5 points since October and are now below 5% support.
More than one year out of any primaries or caucuses and with most candidates undeclared, there are few meaningful demographic or political differences in the nomination race. Hillary Clinton and Sanders continues on with the Sanders garnering much more support among younger voters (22% among those under age 45) than he gets among the older crowd (7% of those age 45 and up back him).
Rep. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, was earlier announced this week that he is forming an exploratory committee. Neither earns 1% in the poll. Others have taken public, but not formal, steps toward running, and have already made several visits to the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
O'Rourke, the only candidate to make significant gains since CNN last polled on the race in October The White House during his unsuccessful campaign for Senate earlier this year.
Among all adults, the top tier students have been viewed more positively than negatively. Warren is one exception. She is a frequent target of President Donald Trump, and we are unfavorably, 30% favorably.
Among the potential Democratic electorate, however, Biden, Sanders, Warren, Booker, O'Rourke and Harris are all far more negative than negatively, with O'Rourke and Harris still unknown by a majority.
The size The Democrats would like to avoid. The poll finds 51% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say it would be better for the party to be one of the candidates to compete for the nod. That's a reversal from 2015, when 53% said they would like to see a number of strong candidates.
Self-identified Democrats split from Democratic-leaning independents on this question. Emerge early (57% say so), while independents tilt towards a bigger, more competitive field (50% favor that).
Whoever may emerge from the Democratic nomination fight 47% who said so in October before the midterm elections saw Republican losses in House races across the country. That figure includes 17% of Republicans who think the President wants to be loose.
Less optimism in US economy
Views of the economy – the President's strongest issue in terms of approval ratings – are beginning to soft, according to the poll. If that trend continues, it could prove to be a threat to its re-election chances. CNN poll, have dropped 9 points, and the share who expect the economy to be in "very good" shape a year from now has dipped 10 points.
Trump has publicly attacked General Motors' CEO Mary Barra on the company's decision to shutter plants in the US. Overall, 64% say that the loss of any manufacturing jobs in the US is a loss for the nation's economy because manufacturing is critical to economic success, while just 26% see the loss of manufacturing jobs as inevitable.
But his policies do not prove as popular. Most, 68% say they see foreign trade as an opportunity for economic growth through exports rather than as a threat from imports.
The CNN poll conducted by SSRS December 6 through 9 landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer, including 463 self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. 3.8 percentage points, it is 5.6 points for results among the potential Democratic electorate.