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 ButtigiegSaagar Enjeti says Buttigieg's release of McKinsey client list shows he 'caved to public pressure' Biden hires Clinton, O'Rourke alum as campaign's digital director Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll 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 SandersSaagar Enjeti says Buttigieg's release of McKinsey client list shows he 'caved to public pressure' Sanders endorses Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur for Katie Hill's former House seat Biden hires Clinton, O'Rourke alum as campaign's digital director MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSaagar Enjeti says Buttigieg's release of McKinsey client list shows he 'caved to public pressure' On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA Bill Weld: As many as six GOP senators privately support convicting Trump 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 KlobucharSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Booker says he will not make December debate stage Yang: 2020 rivals in Senate should be able to campaign amid impeachment MORE (D) received 6 percent support from poll respondents, with Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerTrump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll Booker says he will not make December debate stage White House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina Sanders endorses Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur for Katie Hill's former House seat Kamala Harris dropped out, but let's keep her mental health plan alive MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardDemocrats set early state primary debates for 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Gabbard news items generating more social interactions than other 2020 Democrats: study MORE (D-Hawaii) and businessmen Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerKrystal Ball: Influx of billionaire cash in 2020 contest is 'deeply corrosive' to 'civil society' Booker says he will not make December debate stage Democrats set early state primary debates for 2020 MORE (D) and Andrew YangAndrew YangBooker says he will not make December debate stage Yang: 2020 rivals in Senate should be able to campaign amid impeachment Democrats set early state primary debates for 2020 MORE (D) all polling at 3 percent. 

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBloomberg's doctor releases 'outstanding' health report for 2020 candidate Krystal Ball: Influx of billionaire cash in 2020 contest is 'deeply corrosive' to 'civil society' Houston Chronicle stops using Bloomberg News wire stories for campaign coverage 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 BennetYang: 2020 rivals in Senate should be able to campaign amid impeachment Trump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Schumer to colleagues running for White House: Impeachment comes first 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 TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day 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.