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 BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE, at 25 percent, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE (I-Vt.), at 24 percent.

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The only other candidate to receive double-digit support was Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris unveils 0M commitment to new global health fund Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam House passes bill to compensate 'Havana syndrome' victims 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.