A new poll may sound the death knell for three leading Democrats eyeing the 2020 presidential election.
While many Democrats are eyeing the chance to face President Donald Trump in two years, some old contenders have made their presence known. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has railed against Disney, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems incapable of going away (or making sense), and former vice president Joe Biden has challenged Trump to fisticuffs.
It seems like Mickey Mouse may not be Sanders’ biggest hurdle to 2020 success, however. A whopping 73 percent of likely Democratic voters told Rasmussen Reports they would prefer to see a “fresh face” run for president in 2020.
Sanders and Clinton infamously went head-to-head in 2016, and Clinton also ran for president in 2008. As for Biden, he ran twice — 1988 and 2008. These three would be the exact opposite of “fresh faces.”
Rasmussen asked the voters, “Should Democrats look for a fresh face to run for president in 2020 or should Democrats promote a candidate who has already run in the past?”
Previous polls have found Biden and Sanders in a powerful position, and Clinton likely has a great deal of support as well. A New Hampshire poll from May found that — without Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — Biden took first place (30 percent) with Sanders in second (25 percent). With Warren in the running, she took first place (26 percent), with Biden in second (20 percent), and Sanders in third (13 percent).
Late last month, a CAPS/Harris poll found Biden in first (32 percent), with Clinton second (18 percent) and Sanders third (16 percent). Warren took fourth, with 10 percent.
So what’s going on? How can 73 percent of Democrats prefer a “fresh face” while so many of them favor Biden, Clinton, and Sanders?
First off, it is still extremely early for the 2020 election. No candidate has entered the race, and Democrats won’t be voting for another 19 months. In that time, candidates will rise and fall.
At this early stage, most Democrats are more familiar with former presidential candidates — Biden, Clinton, and Sanders — than potential challengers like Warren. If Biden, Clinton, and Sanders continue to dominate media coverage even as the primaries begin, they may be able to maintain their edge.
Most importantly, this recent poll suggests a preference for a “fresh face,” in the abstract. But many Democrats have grown to trust Biden, Clinton, and Sanders. In order to support a “fresh face,” Democrats would have to find a new candidate they trust as well as these old fogies, which may prove a rather big lift.
Then again, the sudden celebrity power of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might suggest that Democrats will easily find a new face, as they did with Barack Obama in 2008.
This Rasmussen poll suggests that even though Biden, Clinton, and Sanders have a lead in name recognition and support right now, Democrats will be searching for a fresh face to replace these well-known Democrats.
In any case, the “fresh face” 2020 candidates have kept moving Left, and that may make them increasingly vulnerable to Trump.