For a vast majority of Democratic voters, race is not a factor in choosing their preferred candidate from the largest — and most diverse — primary field in the party's history.
A newly-unveiled poll by Monmouth University found that 87 percent of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters do not believe the race of the party's eventual nominee is important. Leading in support among the same group of surveyed voters are former Vice President Joe Biden, who is set to announce his White House bid this week, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — two veteran white lawmakers in their 70s.
"This is the most diverse field of presidential candidates in history, but that doesn't seem to be a major consideration for Democratic voters at this early stage of the campaign. It's probably a large reason why a couple of old white guys are leading the pack right now," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, wrote in a statement.
The crowded Democratic race for president has become increasingly diverse, with six candidates of color, six women and one member of the LGBT community currently vying for the nomination.
According to the poll, five percent of those surveyed said it would be better for the party to back a person of color, while six percent preferred that the party nominates a white candidate. About seven percent also said the nominee should be a woman, while 12 percent would prefer a man to challenge President Trump in 2020.
With 27 percent support, Biden continues to be the front runner of the pack. He is trailed by Sanders, who is supported by 20 percent of voters, followed by South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg. Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey round out the leading contenders.
The university's poll, conducted between April 11 to 15, surveyed 330 registered Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide. Its margin of error is 5.4 percent.