- The stakes for the first Democratic primary debate are high.
- Half of respondents in a new INSIDER poll said they will probably or definitely watch the debate, which will take place on June 26, including 70% of those who said they’d probably vote in their state’s Democratic primary.
- The candidates with the most enthusiastic supporters, according to the poll, are entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
- The candidates with the fewest supporters certain to tune in are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden.
- The Democratic presidential field is crowded, with 23 candidates vying for the nomination. But only 20 of them will be at the debate, while three failed to qualify.
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A whopping 70% of respondents to a new INSIDER who plan to participate in the Democratic primary elections say they will watch the first debate on June 26.
There’s interest from the other side as well, with nearly a third of respondents who plan to vote in the Republican primary saying they “probably will” or “definitely will” watch the debate.
With almost two dozen individuals are running to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, 20 met the criteria to participate in the first debate.
Polling data shows some evidence of different constituencies lining up for the debates with different levels of enthusiasm and commitment to tune in.
The reasons for this aren’t certain, but the candidates that have the most supporters ready to tune in are the telegenic entrepreneur Andrew Yang and the Minnesota senator and former federal prosecutor Amy Klobuchar. Though sample size is lower than ideal, the overwhelming majority of Democratic respondents who said they’d be satisfied with Yang or Klobuchar as nominee said they’d tune in.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg also have large portions of supporters intending to tune in, as do California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
The two candidates with the lowest percentage of supporters who said they will definitely watch are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden, both of whom benefit from being known quantities to Democrats but – particularly in Biden’s case – may suffer for being out of practice.
Sanders previously ran for president during the 2016 US election but was ultimately beat out by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who lost in the general election to President Donald Trump.
Biden, meanwhile, ran for president twice – in 1988 and in 2008 – but lost to former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,126 respondents collected June 7 to June 8 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.07 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.