Buttigieg surges to third place in new Iowa poll

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) surged into third place in a poll of the Iowa caucus released Sunday.

Eleven percent of likely Democratic Iowa caucusgoers surveyed by Emerson Polling said they would pick Buttigieg to be their 2020 presidential nominee.

Overall, Buttigieg placed third behind Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE, at 25 percent, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersThe biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone GOP Senate campaign arm hits battleground-state Dems over 'Medicare for All,' Green New Deal Warren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college MORE (I-Vt.), at 24 percent.

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The only other candidate to receive double-digit support was Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE (D-Calif.), who was the choice for 10 percent of respondents.

"The biggest surprise in this poll is Mayor Pete, last week we saw him inching up in our national poll, and now he’s in double digits in Iowa, America is going to be asking who is 'Mayor Pete'?" Spencer Kimball, director of the Emerson Poll, said.

Buttigieg, who has formed an exploratory committee but has not officially declared, was polling at 0 percent in Emerson's January survey of Iowa, which shows his recognition and support have grown significantly in the last few months.

The Indiana mayor's campaign cleared the donations threshold to participate in presidential debates earlier this month.

His performance in Sunday's Emerson poll was boosted by placing second in the 18-to-29-year-old demographic, with 22 percent. Sanders led that category with 44 percent.

“If Buttigieg is able to maintain his momentum, his candidacy appears to be pulling from the same demographic of young voters as Sanders, and that could become a problem for Sanders,” Kimball said.

Emerson surveyed 249 Iowa Democratic caucusgoers between March 21 and 24 who said they plan to vote in the process, from a total sample of 707. The margin of error for the sample is 6.2 percentage points. 

-- Updated on March 25 at 3:15 p.m.