2020 election: Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke jump in new poll, but Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders tie as frontrunners

Chris Riotta

A new poll has revealed early gains for Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke in the growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates — but they’re still far from being the frontrunners at this stage in the game.

Joe Biden, the former vice president who has yet to formally announce his candidacy, has been leading the pack in a slate of polls putting him ahead of his lesser known potential opponents.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is now tied with Mr Biden at 26 per cent of total support from Democratic voters, however, according to a new Emerson poll released on Wednesday.

That poll puts both Mr Biden and Mr Sanders at the top of the list, followed by Ms Harris, the California senator who launched her campaign with a massive rally in Oakland, California and secured nearly $1.5m (£1.1m) in donations within the first 24 hours of her candidacy. She trails both men with 12 per cent of support.

Beto O’Rourke has also jumped in the polls following his campaign announcement last week, going up seven points to 11 per cent in the latest poll. The Texas Democrat and former congressman raised a record-breaking $6.1m (£4.6m) in his first 24 hours, topping Mr Sanders’ previous record for the 2020 race of $5.9m (£4.4m) in individual contributions.

Campaign finance experts have noted the difficulties female candidates face in fundraising their campaigns, especially when compared to white male candidates like Mr Sanders or Mr O’Rourke.

Ms Harris’ fundraising and campaigning efforts have proven effective as she has jumped to double-digit support while touring crucial primary states in recent weeks.

Mr O’Rourke, meanwhile, also continues to climb in the polls ever since announcing his campaign for the presidency in a video last week.

Factions within the Democratic Party could be beginning to reveal themselves within the latest Emerson poll. Whereas Mr Biden leads among voters aged 50 to 64, Mr Sanders leads among younger demographics, beating out the former vice president with 42 per cent of support among voters aged 18 to 29 and 30 per cent of voters aged 30 to 49.

Mr Biden leads among older generations with 39 per cent of support among voters aged 50 to 64 and 33 per cent of voters aged 65 and older.

The Emerson poll was conducted based on interviews with 487 respondents.