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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 ButtigiegButtigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Biden town hall questioner worked as speechwriter in Obama administration: report 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 SandersPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Senate Democrats seek to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night Georgia senator mocks Harris's name before Trump rally: 'Kamala-mala-mala, I don't know' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Georgia senator mocks Harris's name before Trump rally: 'Kamala-mala-mala, I don't know' Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates 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.” 

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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 KlobucharSenate Democrats seek to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night Washington flooded with Women's March protesters ahead of Barrett confirmation vote Supreme Court battle turns into 2020 proxy war MORE (D) received 6 percent support from poll respondents, with Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker 'outs' Cruz as vegan; Cruz jokingly decries 'scurrilous attack' Why Latinos should oppose Barrett confirmation Judiciary Committee sets vote on Barrett's nomination for next week MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisUndecided voters in Arizona wary of Trump, crave stability Foreign policy is on the ballot in 2020; so is American credibility Perez on Biden's poll leads: Democrats 'take nothing for granted' MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (D-Hawaii) and businessmen Tom SteyerTom Steyer2020 election already most expensive ever TV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' MORE (D) and Andrew YangAndrew YangPelosi spars with CNN's Blitzer over COVID-19 aid: 'You really don't know what you're talking about' The shape of guaranteed income Biden's latest small business outreach is just ... awful MORE (D) all polling at 3 percent. 

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergA closing argument: Why voters cannot trust Trump on healthcare Biden campaign swamps Trump on TV airwaves 2020 election already most expensive ever 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 BennetDemocrats sense momentum for expanding child tax credit OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency 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 John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus 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.