Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead the sprawling field of Democratic presidential contenders after the late-July debates in Detroit, maintaining a double-digit advantage over his nearest challenger in polls.
The total number of the party’s White House hopefuls remains at a still-high level of 21, even after a handful of politicians have dropped out of the race for the 2020 nomination.
Shortly after the first set of debates in Miami, California Rep. Eric Swalwell became the first Democratic contender to exit on July 8. Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel then bowed out Aug. 6, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his bid Aug. 15, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee left the race Wednesday, and Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton said Friday that he was exiting.
The Democrats seeking to take on President Donald Trump next year include Sen. Bernie Sanders — who is closest to Biden in polls — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Author and activist Marianne Williamson and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam remain in the mix.
In a RealClearPolitics average of polls as of Friday, Biden has the support of 29%, ahead of Sanders at 16%, Warren at 15%, Harris at 7% and Buttigieg at 5%.
The next set of debates is slated for Sept. 12 and 13 in Houston, and the tougher polling and campaign-contribution criteria for qualification are helping to winnow the number of participants. The first voter verdicts will come Feb. 3 with the Iowa caucuses.
Here is the MarketWatch list of contenders and the status of their deliberations, based on their statements:
MarketWatch’s Victor Reklaitis contributed to this report.