New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa

Support among Iowa democratic voters for Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary The Hill's Morning Report - High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries MORE (D) spiked in a new poll released Saturday, with Buttigieg leading the crowded field of Democratic hopefuls. 

Among “likely” Democratic voters in the Iowa caucus, 25 percent now say that Buttigieg is their first choice for president, a 16 percent boost since September, according to the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll. This is the first time in the poll that Buttigieg leads Biden, as well as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTo break the corporate tax logjam, tax overinflated CEO pay Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Grassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWill Pence primary Trump — and win? Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law Biden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks MORE (D-Mass).

“This is the first poll that shows Buttigieg as a stand-alone front-runner,” J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., the organization that conducted the poll, told the Des Moines Register. “There have been four candidates that have sort of jostled around in a pack together, but he has a sizable lead over the nearest contender — 9 points. So this is a new status for him.” 


In the former polls, Warren was the frontrunner among Democratic Iowa voters, garnering 22 percent support in September. In the poll released Saturday, her support slipped to 16 percent. Biden and Sanders are both polling at 15 percent, although Biden slipped 5 points since the last poll, and Sanders’ support increased 4 points.

Explaining the recent polling surge, Buttigieg said he began to connect with Iowa voters on a new level after Labor Day. 

Meanwhile, other Democratic candidates like Minnesota Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Competition laws could be a death knell for startup mergers and acquisitions MORE (D) received 6 percent support from poll respondents, with Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerCongress can make progress on fighting emissions with Zero Food Waste Act Scott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWill Pence primary Trump — and win? Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law 'CON laws' limit the health care competition Biden aims to deliver MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard on Chicago mayor's decision to limit media interviews to people of color: 'Anti-white racism' Fox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials MORE (D-Hawaii) and businessmen Tom SteyerTom SteyerOvernight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline Six things to watch as California heads for recall election MORE (D) and Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Kings launch voting rights effort honoring John Lewis Eric Adams to meet with Biden on curbing gun violence MORE (D) all polling at 3 percent. 

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergSix months in, two challenges could define Biden's presidency Why Democrats' .5 trillion reconciliation bill is a losing game Democrats must win big on health care to have a shot in the midterms MORE (D), who has filed to appear in the Alabama and Arkansas primaries, but not the crucial New Hampshire primary, polled at 2 percent, while Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHow Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform For true American prosperity, make the child tax credit permanent Colorado lawmaker warns of fire season becoming year-round MORE (D-Colo.) polled at one percent. All of the other candidates in the Democratic field round to 0 percent.

The poll also revealed that 30 percent of respondents say that they have a first choice for the Democratic nominee and that their minds are made up, compared with 20 percent in September. The majority of Democratic voters, 62 percent, said they have a first choice, but they could be persuaded. 

When asked about the Democratic candidates’ chances against President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE, 63 percent of respondents said it was more important to nominate a candidate who has a strong chance of beating the president rather than a candidate who supports their personal policy positions. Thirty-two percent of Democratic voters disagreed.

Still, those polled were not certain that any of the four frontrunners could defeat the president heading into 2020. Thirty-one percent saying they are “almost certain” that Sanders would lose, compared to 24 percent for Warren, 21 percent for Biden and 19 percent Buttigieg. 

A quarter of those polled said they are “almost certain” Biden will defeat Trump in 2020, compared to 17 percent for Sanders, 16 percent for Buttigieg and 15 percent for Warren.a

The poll was conducted Nov. 8-13 among 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percengage points.