New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa

Support among Iowa democratic voters for Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Poll shows tight general election battle between Trump and top Democrats 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 SandersSanders to Clinton: 'This is not the kind of rhetoric that we need' Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Human Rights Campaign president rips Sanders's embrace of Rogan endorsement MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKlobuchar plans campaign rallies across Iowa despite impeachment trial Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Warren pledges to release Trump records if elected 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 Jean KlobucharKlobuchar plans campaign rallies across Iowa despite impeachment trial Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa MORE (D) received 6 percent support from poll respondents, with Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBlack caucus in Nevada: 'Notion that Biden has all of black vote is not true' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardJoe Rogan says he's probably voting for Bernie Sanders Gabbard tells Fox that Clinton's 'Russian asset' remark is 'taking my life away' Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill MORE (D-Hawaii) and businessmen Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Steyer's advice from son after overhearing Warren-Sanders hot mic dust-up: 'Don't be a snitch' MORE (D) and Andrew YangAndrew YangJohn Leguizamo joins the 'Yang Gang' CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Joe Rogan says he's probably voting for Bernie Sanders MORE (D) all polling at 3 percent. 

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire Chicago mayor weighing possible Bloomberg endorsement Judge Judy's verdict: Ignoring Bloomberg's record to endorse others made no sense 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 BennetImpeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary 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 TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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.