Poll: Buttigieg, Sanders surge sets up 4-way tie in New Hampshire
Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have seen a spike in support in New Hampshire and are now knotted with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at the top, according to a new poll.
The latest Monmouth University survey of New Hampshire finds Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., with a narrow lead at 20 percent support, followed by Biden at 19 percent, Sanders at 18 percent and Warren at 15 percent.
The previous survey from September found Warren and Biden alone at the top, at 27 percent and 25 percent support, respectively. Warren has since lost 12 points and Biden has fallen by 6 points, while Buttigieg has gained 10 points and Sanders has gained 6 points.
Sanders boasts the best favorability rating in the field and is the only top-tier candidate to see his favorability rating improve since September. He sits at 69 favorable and 23 unfavorable, up from a 63-28 split in September.
Warren saw the largest drop in favorability, going from 74 positive and 19 negative to 64 positive and 27 negative in the latest poll.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is the other big gainer but is still languishing in the mid-single digits, picking up 4 points to come in at 6 percent support.
Seven percent of New Hampshire voters are undecided and are not leaning toward any candidate. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not be on the ballot in New Hampshire and was not included in the survey.
“The race remains fairly wide open,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray. “To the extent that New Hampshire voters could take some cues from Iowa, it’s also worth keeping an eye on lower polling candidates like Klobuchar if any of the leading contenders stumble in the earlier Iowa contest.”
The Iowa caucuses take place on Feb. 3, and the New Hampshire primary is on Feb. 11.
Rounding out the field in New Hampshire are Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and billionaire Tom Steyer at 4 percent, businessman Andrew Yang at 3 percent, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) at 2 percent and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) at 1 percent.
It’s likely that this group of candidates will miss the cut for Tuesday’s Democratic debate, which is poised to feature the fewest number of candidates to date. So far, only Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren and Klobuchar have met the polling and fundraising thresholds.
Candidates have until Friday to reach 5 percent support in four national polls or 7 percent support in two early-state polls.
That’s particularly galling for Yang, who far exceeded the fundraising requirements with his $16.5 million fourth quarter haul. But Yang has only hit the polling threshold in one qualifying survey. He has been venting frustration at the lack of polls that have been released since the Dec. 20 Democratic debate.
Sanders tops the field among self-described liberals at 26 percent support, followed closely by Warren at 24 percent. Self-described moderate and conservative Democrats are split between Buttigieg at 25 percent and Biden at 22 percent.
Sanders has staked his campaign on turning out new voters who have not traditionally participated in the Democratic primary process, but Monmouth ran different analyses to include low-propensity voters and did not find much of a boost for Sanders.
When more weight is given to low-propensity voters, Biden, Buttigieg and Sanders are tied at 19 percent, with Warren coming in at 15 percent.
When more weight is given to traditional primary voters, Buttigieg opens up a wider lead with 23 percent support, followed by Biden at 20 percent, Sanders at 16 percent and Warren at 15 percent.
Monmouth also asked voters who their preference would be if only the top four candidates were in the race.
In that instance, Biden is in the top spot at 24 percent, followed by Buttigieg at 23 percent, Sanders at 21 percent and Warren at 18 percent. Five percent of Democrats said they would not support any of the top-four candidates. About half of those who would abstain support Gabbard at the moment.
The Monmouth University survey of 404 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire was conducted from Jan. 3 to 7 and has a 4.9 percentage point margin of error.