Buttigieg surges to 10-point lead in New Hampshire: poll

Democratic White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Former Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan dies How Republicans can embrace environmentalism and win MORE surged to a 10-point lead in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, according to a new Saint Anselm College poll released Tuesday.

Buttigieg gets the support of 25 percent of self-identified likely Democratic primary voters, marking the first time the South Bend, Ind., mayor has emerged atop a poll in the Granite State. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he is 'seriously' considering a capital gains tax cut Why Joe Biden is in trouble Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for coronavirus over two weeks last month | Democrats deny outreach to Trump since talks collapsed | California public health chief quits suddenly On The Money: Administration defends Trump executive orders | CBO reports skyrocketing deficit | Government pauses Kodak loan pending review Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE (D-Mass.) are tied for second at 15 percent, while no other candidate breaks double digits. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: LIVE: Trump from Gettysburg | The many unknowns of 2020 | Omar among those facing primary challenges Trump's personality is as much a problem as his performance Sierra Club endorses Biden for president  MORE (I-Vt.) sits in fourth place at 9 percent.

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The survey’s results show a 15-point jump for Buttigieg from the last Saint Anselm College poll released in September. The surge appears to have been fueled by drawing support from the other top contenders in the state’s primary. Biden, Warren and Sanders saw 9-point, 10-point and 2-point drops, respectively.

While Buttigieg has often polled in or near the top tier in New Hampshire primary polls, he consistently trailed Biden, Warren and Sanders before Tuesday’s survey.

The Indiana Democrat is buoyed by an overwhelmingly positive approval rating. Seventy-six percent of likely Democratic voters view him favorably, while only 11 percent have an unfavorable view of him.

However, the primary field does not appear to be set in stone with less than three months before New Hampshire voters head to the polls. Only 36 percent of likely Democratic primary voters say they are firm in their choice for president. 

Nevertheless, the poll is just the latest piece of good news for a surging Buttigieg campaign. The Indiana mayor held a 9-point lead in this week’s Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom survey, which is considered the gold standard in the Hawkeye State.

“There’s no doubt about it — as the primary cycle continues, Mayor Pete’s appeal is only growing,” Democratic strategist Lynda Tran told The Hill. “The latest poll certainly puts the wind at his back heading into Iowa.”

Buttigieg still faces obstacles, including a litany of polls showing low support from voters of color and lingering questions over electability. 

While several surveys suggest trouble may arise in Nevada and South Carolina, two states with high proportions of minority voters that will hold nominating contests shortly after whiter Iowa and New Hampshire, observers speculate that strong showings in the first two races could change voters’ minds and rejigger the race. 

And while some donors and voters continue to express skepticism that the 37-year-old mayor from Indiana can unseat Trump, Tuesday’s poll shows Buttigieg with a 7-point lead over the president in a hypothetical match-up.

The Saint Anselm College poll surveyed 255 likely Democratic primary voters from Nov. 13 to Nov. 18 and has a margin of error of 6.1 percent.

--This report was updated on Nov. 20 at 3:13 p.m.