Poll Shows Democratic Voters Prefer Candidate in 50s

(CN) – Despite the party’s current 2020 frontrunner being 76 years old, a survey released Thursday found that nearly half of Democratic voters say they would prefer a candidate in their 50s and age is more important to them than sex or race.

The Pew Research Center survey, which could serve as a political road map for the 2020 presidential race, also found that a growing number of Republicans would support a primary challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020.

In a survey of 10,170 adults from April 29 to May 13, researchers found that 47% of Democratic respondents say it is best for a president to be in their 50s, followed by 25% who prefer a candidate in their 40s.  

The data was stratified by respondents’ ages, which showed they were more likely to support a candidate closer to their own age group.

For example, 55% of Democrats in the 18-29 range preferred a candidate in their 30s or 40s, and most in both the 30-39 and 40-49 ranges wanted a candidate in their 50s. One-third of Democratic respondents over 70 said it was best for a president to be in their 60s.

Notably, the two Democratic candidates currently at the front of the pack are both over 70. Widely viewed as the frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden is 76 years old. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, polling in second place, is 77.

Beyond age, researchers found that other aspects of potential candidates’ identities made little difference to Democratic voters overall. Most indicated that a candidate’s race, sex or sexual orientation wouldn’t make a difference when voting in next year’s election.  

However, respondents were more likely to support a candidate aligned with their own identities.

For example, 45% of Democratic women ages 18 to 49 were more enthusiastic about a potential female candidate for president, while 44% of Hispanic Democrats said they would feel more enthusiastic about a Hispanic nominee. A slightly smaller number of black Democrats, 35%, said they would be more enthusiastic if the party’s nominee were black.

Democrats were considerably less enthusiastic about white and white male candidates – overall, 17% said they would feel less enthusiastic about a white male candidate.

Among black and Hispanic Democrats, 15% of both groups indicated less enthusiasm for a white candidate. That number rose to 21% and 18% less enthusiastic, respectively, for a white male candidate.  

While Democratic voters have more than 20 candidates to choose from for their party’s presidential nominee, a significant minority of Republicans would like to see a primary challenge to President Trump – 43% said they support a GOP primary in 2020, up 6 percentage points since respondents were last asked in November.

Liberal and younger Republicans were more likely to support a challenger at 58% and 54%, respectively.

However, despite ongoing investigations into the Trump administration, including the president’s own actions as a candidate and in office, a slim majority (51%) of Democratic respondents worry that congressional Democrats will focus too much on the investigations.

That could present a problem in 2020, as several Democratic candidates have called for President Trump’s impeachment, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas.

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