Iowa poll: Warren, Buttigieg, Sanders and Biden in a tight scrape at the top

A new survey of Iowa Democrats finds four candidates vying for the stop spot in the caucus — Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE (D-Mass.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' MORE are bunched at the head of the docket with no clear leader.

The Quinnipiac University poll finds Warren at 20 percent support, followed by Buttigieg at 19 percent, Sanders at 17 percent and Biden at 15 percent. The poll has a 4.5 percentage point margin of error.

Fifty-two percent of likely Democratic voters surveyed said they could still change their minds before the Feb. 3 caucuses.

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Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Mary Snow indicated that Iowa's caucus is, "A close race with a crowded field of frontrunners." 

“While Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders have held top tier status in national polls for months, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg joins their ranks in the 2020 Iowa caucus. And it's a race that is up for grabs.”

Rounding out the field are Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE (D-Minn.) at 5 percent, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (D-Calif.) at 4 percent, and businessman Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerPoll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Buttigieg takes dig at Sanders working 'for years' in Washington The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats MORE, tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangDNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Panel: Obama breaks Andrew Yang's heart MORE, and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardPoll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Gabbard defeats man in push-up contest at New Hampshire town hall Gabbard on personal meeting with Sanders: 'He showed me the greatest respect' MORE (D-Hawaii) at 3 percent each. 

Self-described “very liberal” Democrats are splitting their vote between Sanders, at 32 percent, and Warren, at 30 percent. Those who describe themselves as “somewhat liberal” are divided between Warren at 29 percent and Buttigieg at 24 percent.

But “moderate and conservative” Democrats make up half of likely caucusgoers, and these are split between Buttigieg at 19 percent and Biden at 18 percent.

Buttigieg tops the field among white voters with college degrees, while Sanders leads among white voters without a college education. 

Buttigieg is also the top second choice for voters at 17 percent, followed by Warren at 16 percent, Sanders at 13 percent and Biden at 12 percent.

Among voters whose top candidate is polling at less than 15 percent, Buttigieg is the top second choice at 22 percent, followed by Sanders at 21 percent. This statistic could be an important factor should several low-polling candidates drop out before the caucuses.

One-third of voters said they’re primarily looking for someone who can defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE. Those voters view Biden, Buttigieg and Warren as likeliest to win in a head-to-head matchup against the president.

"For Iowa caucus-goers checking the electability box as their top quality in choosing a candidate, there is no one candidate with a clear edge," said Snow. "Biden, Warren and Buttigieg are tied among those ranking a 2020 win uppermost in their decision." 

Health care is the top issue for likely Democrats in Iowa, with 26 percent saying Sanders is strongest on the issue, and 22 percent saying Warren. 

Among those who said they backed Sanders in the caucuses in 2016, 35 percent are still with him, but 23 percent now support Warren and 19 percent support Buttigieg. Among those who backed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSupreme Court agrees to hear 'faithless elector' cases Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Climate 'religion' is fueling Australia's wildfires MORE in 2016, 27 percent now support Biden, followed by 21 percent for Buttigieg and 18 percent for Warren.


The Quinnipiac University survey of 698 likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers was conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 5 and has a 4.5 percentage point margin of error.