Iowa poll makes waves among 2020 Democrats

The latest poll of Iowa voters sparked reactions from several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, who said the large primary field means even candidates with relatively low numbers are viable contenders. 

The benchmark Des Moines Register and CNN poll, released Saturday night, showed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE's lead narrowing, though he retained a significant advantage with 24 percent support. Second place was a three-way statistical tie, with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor GOP pulling out all the stops to delay COVID-19 package MORE (I-Vt.) at 16 percent, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPhilly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans MORE (D-Mass.) at 15 percent and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill MORE at 14 percent.


Appearing Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders said it's unlikely any candidate will achieve 50 percent support in Iowa. He noted that neither he nor former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series White House defends Biden's 'Neanderthal thinking' remark on masks MORE was able to break 50 percent in the 2016 Iowa caucuses — Clinton ultimately won by a fraction of a point — and added that the large field makes it an even more daunting task this year.

"We're not going to get 50 percent of the vote in Iowa. I don't think anybody will," Sanders said. Polls have shown the Vermont senator has consistently been in second place behind Biden, but the Iowa Poll is the first to show other candidates coming close.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), meanwhile, waved off his weaker showing in the poll, which put him at 2 percent, down from 11 percent in December, despite a blitz of appearances across the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

"I don't know that this many months out from the caucuses in Iowa that these polls really indicate what our prospects are," O'Rourke told George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosKhashoggi colleague: 'Why are we making an alliance with a dictator?' Fauci on Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 'Just be really grateful' Portman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' MORE on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "If I relied on polls, in any race that I'd run, I never would have been able to serve in the United States Congress, we never would have tried to take on Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCrenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington on high alert as QAnon theory marks March 4 MORE, and we wouldn't have been able to lead the largest grass-roots effort in the state of Texas.”

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference Klobuchar, Murkowski urge FTC to protect domestic abuse victims' data MORE (D-Minn.) also responded to the poll, which showed her at 2 percent, putting her among the top six polling candidates. That percentage, she noted on CBS's “Face the Nation,” put her ahead of 18 other candidates.

"I'm clearly on the debate stage and expect to be there in the fall. And I think that's going to give opportunity to voters in Iowa and all across the country to really narrow it down," she said Sunday. Along with the top four, O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Harris Harris speaks with Netanyahu amid ICC probe Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill Why is Joe Biden dodging the public and the press? MORE (D-Calif.), who polled at 7 percent, were the only candidates polling above 1 percent.

Warren did not appear on any of the Sunday shows, but the numbers reflect one of her best Iowa showings since she entered the race.

“That’s a strong showing for Elizabeth Warren,” pollster Ann Selzer, who conducted the survey, told the Register. “I think that all of the publicity lately and all of the polls lately are so Biden-heavy that for her to have any metric that shows her on par (with him) … it says to me there are people who are paying attention. Again, in a field this big, that’s step one. First, you have to get people to pay attention.”

Nine candidates, including New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioAs Trump steps back in the spotlight, will Cuomo exit stage left? NY lawmakers agree to strip Cuomo of pandemic-related emergency powers The Memo: Cuomo's fall raises questions for media MORE, the most recent entrant, polled at 0 percent. “There’s always been a question mark as to how many can get any real traction,” Selzer said. “And we gave them every opportunity to show that they have some kind of constituency here. But there’s a fair number who, their constituency just isn’t very big.”