Poll: Sanders leads pack, followed by Biden and Buttigieg

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE (I-Vt.) leads the Democratic presidential field in a new Emerson poll, followed by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE.

The survey found that Sanders, who has come in second behind Biden in most polling, is leading with 29 percent. Biden, who has not yet announced a 2020 bid, is in second place with 24 percent, followed by Buttigieg at 9 percent.

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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Warren leads in speaking time during debate MORE (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) are tied for fourth place at 8 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE (D-Mass.) at 7 percent.

The poll is one of several showing the meteoric rise of Buttigieg, despite his relatively low name recognition just a few months ago. An Iowa poll last week had him in third place, behind Biden and Sanders.

“While still early in the nominating process, it looks like Mayor Pete is the candidate capturing voters’ imagination,” Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson Polling, said in a statement Monday. “The numbers had him at 0% in mid-February, 3% in March and now at 9% in April.”

Meanwhile, Kimball said, Biden has lost some support in recent weeks. He led Sanders, 27 percent to 17 percent, in February before dropping to 26 percent in March, tying with Sanders. In recent weeks, Biden has been dogged by allegations from several women who say he touched them inappropriately at public events, though half of Democratic voters have said the allegations will not affect their vote.

Should Biden ultimately decide against a presidential bid, Sanders would be in an even stronger position, according to the poll, which finds the Vermont senator is the second choice for 31 percent of Biden's supporters. Buttigieg is the second choice for 17 percent of Biden backers, followed by O’Rourke with 13 percent.

The poll, conducted April 11–14, surveyed 356 registered voters nationwide and has a margin of error of 5.2 percentage points.