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Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll of potential Iowa caucus voters reveals that former Vice President Joe Biden (32%) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (19%) are leading what is likely to be a massive field of Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential primary, followed by Rep. Beto O'Rourke (11%), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (8%) and Sen. Kamala Harris (5%).

The big picture: The Iowa caucuses are still 14 months away, and none of the leading contenders have officially declared that they'll run for president. But given that Iowa is the first state to vote and is often seen as a barometer for later contests, it's noteworthy that voters favored a more "seasoned political hand" over a "newcomer" by a margin of 49% to 36%. O'Rourke is perhaps the most intriguing of the leading potential candidates, having been lifted to national prominence after narrowly losing his Texas Senate race last month.

The full list:

  1. Former Vice President Joe Biden — 32%
  2. Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) — 19%
  3. Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas) — 11%
  4. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) — 8%
  5. Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) — 5%
  6. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) — 4%
  7. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) — 3%
  8. Michael Bloomberg — 3%
  9. Other candidates — 4%

Go deeper: Why Democrats are taking Beto seriously for 2020

Go deeper

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges over the House Capitol riot investigation, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.