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Hope’s Fading for Woman, Person of Color as Democrats’ 2020 Nominee

Friday, December 06, 2019

With Kamala Harris quitting the race, some Democrats are already worrying about the whiteness of the leading presidential hopefuls. Most Democratic voters – and most blacks – agree that it’s important for the party to nominate a person of color or woman this time around, but hope is fading.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 50% of Likely Democratic Voters still think their party’s presidential nominee in 2020 is likely to be a woman or person of color, with 16% who say it’s Very Likely. But that compares to 68% and 18% respectively in late January of this year.

While only 22% of Democrats considered that unlikely at the beginning of the year, now twice as many (43%) feel that way. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Yet 59% of Democrats say it’s important for their party to choose a woman or person of color as their presidential or vice presidential nominee, including 26% who feel it’s Very Important.

With President Trump aggressively courting black voters, 57% of blacks say it’s important for Democrats to nominate a woman or person of color for one of the top two slots, with 22% who say it’s Very Important. Senator Elizabeth Warren remains one of the stronger hopefuls, but only two black candidates are in the race: Senator Cory Booker whose campaign has never caught fire and newcomer Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts. The one Hispanic candidate, Julian Castro, also lags far behind.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of blacks thought such a nominee was likely in January, compared to 45% now.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted December 4-5, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Joe Biden remains the candidate to beat in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In the battle for second place, Warren and Bernie Sanders have lost ground, while Pete Buttigieg is gaining.

Among all likely voters, 39% say it’s important for the Democratic Party to nominate a woman or person of color as its presidential or vice presidential nominee, with 16% who say it’s Very Important. Forty-two percent (42%) say the party is likely to nominate a woman or person of color for president, but only 12% feel it’s Very Likely. That compares to 63% and 23% respectively in January.

Just 41% of women, however, say it’s important for the Democratic nominee to be a woman or person of color, with 15% who think it’s Very Important.

The younger the voter, the more importance they attach to the Democratic presidential or vice presidential nominee being a woman or person of color.

Among voters who think it’s important for one of the top Democratic nominees to be a woman or person of color, most still think that’s likely.

Voters are closely divided over whether Trump is a racist, but one-in-three Democrats think it’s racism any time a white politician criticizes a politician of color.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of Democrats believe Trump voters are racist. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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