Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead among Democratic Iowans who intend to participate in the 2020 Democratic caucus, but his lead over Bernie Sanders has diminished.  Six candidates make up a second tier: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke. 

Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar have each fallen between  4% and 5% since December. As a new entrant, Pete Buttigieg, is now tied for 6th place at 6%.

Democratic caucus goers are paying much more attention to the contest now, compared to last December, and have strongly positive views of many of the contenders.  

Name recognition of many candidates has increased substantially in the last three months. Several candidates have also show significant increases in the proportion of voters who hold positive opinions about them, with at least a 10% increase in positive opinion seen by Cory Booker, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, and Amy Klobuchar. Pete Buttigieg, not asked about in the December survey, also shows significant positive opinion at 44%.

Iowa Democratic caucus goers express a desire to hear more from the candidates, especially those lesser known or who recently announced. 

When asked if they have already heard enough from the candidates or would like to hear more, a majority or more of Iowa Democratic caucus voters say they would like to hear more from: O’Rourke (58%), Harris (58%), Booker (56%), Buttigieg (54%), Klobuchar (53%), Gillibrand (51%), Castro (51%), and Inslee (51%).

More Iowa Democratic caucus goers are seeking a candidate who will pay attention to the needs of rural voters.  

66% of likely Democratic caucus voters say it is absolutely critical or very important to elect a Presidential candidate who wants to help economic development in rural America, up from 60% last September.   This finding is in keeping with other research that shows Democratic voters seek candidates who will appeal to the entire Democratic electorate, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, or geographical location.

When asked to choose between two candidates who are similar on the issues they care about, 50% of likely Democratic caucus voters choose a candidate who makes it a priority to engage with rural voters, while only 37% prefer one who makes it a priority to increase turnout in Iowa’s larger cities and towns.  Another 13% has no preference. Among rural Democratic voters in Iowa, this preference 62% to 24% for the candidate who engages with rural voters.

There is very strong support for candidates who support ethanol.   

84% of likely Iowa Democratic caucus voters say they are more likely to support a candidate for President who supports expanding production of renewable biofuels like ethanol, and growing related jobs in rural communities.   Only 10% would oppose such a candidate.

Specifically on the issue of the EPA giving secret small refinery waivers to major oil companies and allowing them to use less renewable fuels, 80% of Iowa Democrats say that they would be more likely to support a candidate who vows to end this practice, while only 15% say that they would be more likely to oppose this candidate.


David Binder Research conducted 500 interviews by cell phone and landline on March 21st to 24th, 2019 with registered voters in Iowa who stated they were likely to participate in the Democratic Presidential caucuses of 2020. All participants were recruited from official Iowa voter lists.  

Results are subject to a margin of error of no greater than ±4.4%.