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Entrance Poll: Majority of Iowa Democrats Simply Want to Defeat Trump    


Younger caucusgoers hold signs for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at the Knapp Center on the Drake University campus in Des Moines, Iowa, Feb. 3, 2020.

As Iowa's Democrats entered their party's caucuses on Monday, defeating President Donald Trump in November's election was at the top of their minds when considering which candidate to support for the party's 2020 presidential nomination, according to preliminary findings by the National Election Pool (NEP).

The NEP, a consortium of news organizations including Reuters that runs election-day polling through Edison Research, found most caucusgoers were simply looking for a winner instead of someone who agrees with them on the issues.

Here are some highlights from the entrance poll based on interviews with 745 Iowa Democrats as they headed into the caucuses:

— Six in 10 caucusgoers said they were looking for a Democratic nominee who they think can beat Trump. About four in 10 said they wanted a nominee who agrees with them on major issues.

— Three in 10 said they were attending the Iowa caucuses for the first time, which appeared to be below that of 2016. Four years ago, 44% of people attending the Iowa caucuses said they were doing so for the first time. In 2008, 57% said they were new to the Iowa caucuses.

— Nearly a third of Democrats said before entering the caucuses that they had picked their candidate in the last few days.

That appeared to be higher than the share of late deciders in 2016. Four years ago, 16% of caucusgoers said they had made their choice in the last month or earlier.

— Health care was the issue that mattered most to Iowa caucusgoers. About four in 10 said that was the issue they cared most about when thinking about picking a nominee. Two in 10 said it was the climate, another two in 10 said it was income inequality and one in 10 said it was foreign policy.

— The entrance poll also asked Democrats about which candidate they were supporting for the nomination. The selections were not predictive of the outcome, however, given that many Democrats would change their preferences if their chosen candidate did not win enough support in the caucuses.

Edison, a Somerville, New Jersey-based exit polling firm, has been providing election-day poll data to a consortium of news organizations through the National Election Pool since 2004.

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