Warren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) led former Vice President Joe Biden in Iowa for the first time in a presidential primary poll released Saturday. 

The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa found that 22 percent support Warren for president, while 20 percent said Biden was their top choice.

The two top candidates were within the poll’s margin of error, but it represents the first time Biden hasn’t been at the top of the field in the crucial first-in-the-nation caucus state. 

When considering second choices, Warren’s lead over Biden expands, with a total of 42 percent of likely Democratic voters calling her their first or second choice. Biden was one of the top two choices for 30 percent of likely Democratic voters.

In the Iowa caucus, a voter’s first choice is viable only if they have at least 15 percent of the vote. If they don’t, the voter can switch to their second choice.

The top two candidates were trailed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with 11 percent, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 9 percent and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) with 6 percent. {mosads}

Biden was ahead of Warren in the Des Moines Register’s three past polls of the 2020 cycle, but Warren has seen a steady increase. 

In December, she had the support of 8 percent of respondents, while she had the support of 9 percent in March. In June, 15 percent of respondents supported her, although the paper noted that the June poll had a slightly different methodology than the others. The Massachusetts senator has also seen increased momentum in recent months on a national level.

J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll, told the Des Moines Register that this was the race’s “first major shakeup.” 

“It’s the first time we’ve had someone other than Joe Biden at the top of the leader board,” Selzer said. 

Researchers surveyed 602 likely Democratic caucusgoers between Sept. 14 and Sept. 18. The poll’s margin of error is 4 percentage points.

Biden has been the front-runner of the 2020 Democratic presidential race in most major polls, although Warren’s campaign has seen momentum in recent months. 

They are among more than a dozen people running for the party’s nomination. 

Tags 2020 election Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Iowa Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg
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