Poll: Sanders opens up lead in Iowa

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE (I-Vt.) has opened up a 7-point lead in Iowa, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll released Saturday, a strong showing in a volatile primary battle just over a week away from the state’s caucuses.

Sanders won the support of 25 percent of Democratic caucusgoers in the survey, followed by former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegKlobuchar, Steyer unable to name Mexico's president in pointed interview Democrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage MORE at 18 percent, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE at 17 percent and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Massachusetts Democrats question deployment of Border Patrol teams to sanctuary cities Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage MORE (D-Mass.) at 15 percent.

No other candidate breaks double digits in the poll, with Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar, Steyer unable to name Mexico's president in pointed interview Democrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage MORE (D-Minn.) coming the closest at 8 percent.

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The poll marks a 6-point jump for Sanders from the last Times/Siena College survey in October, a boost that came largely at the expense of Warren, a fellow progressive who dropped 7 points.

The flip-flop came after months of the two battling for the primary field’s progressive mantle and after Sanders and Warren feuded this month over a 2018 meeting in which Warren asserted Sanders disagreed with her belief that a woman could win the presidency. The Vermont senator vehemently denied the claim.

The results for Buttigieg and Biden in the new poll remained the same as October. 

Recent polling has shown a packed top tier in both Iowa and New Hampshire, which holds its primary shortly after the Hawkeye State’s caucuses, with Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg and Warren bunched near the top. However, Sanders has edged out leads in several of the most recent surveys, suggesting he is peaking right before voters head to the polls on Feb. 3 in Iowa.

Despite Sanders’s strength in the poll and the loyal following he’s cultivated since his failed 2016 presidential run, the senator could face headwinds in Iowa should moderates ultimately coalesce behind a single candidate.

Fifty-five percent of the caucusgoers surveyed said they prefer a candidate who is “more moderate than most Democrats,” while 38 percent said they want one who is “more liberal than most Democrats.”

The New York Times/Siena College poll surveyed 584 Democratic caucusgoers from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23 and has a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points.