Massive Shake-Up in Iowa as Buttigieg Takes Lead from Warren and Biden, Poll Shows

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/AP Photo

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) is surging in Iowa, taking the lead from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday revealed.

Buttigieg has been slowly working his way up in national and early-state polls in recent weeks. He made waves last month after jumping to third place in Iowa, as a Suffolk University/USA Today poll showed.

The Monmouth University poll, taken November 7 to 11, 2019, among 451 likely Democrat caucus-goers in Iowa, found Buttigieg leading the pack with 22 percent support. The former vice president came in second place with 19 percent support, causing Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to drop to third and fourth place with 18 percent and 13 percent, respectively. While Warren’s drop to third may seem significant, it is only a two percent drop from the 20 percent support she saw in Monmouth’s previous poll.

No other candidate came close to the top four. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) garnered five percent support, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Tom Steyer (D), and Andrew Yang (D), all of whom saw three percent support each. The remaining candidates saw two percent support or less. The margin of error is +/- 4.6 percent, signaling a tight race among the top three — Buttigieg, Biden, and Warren:

According to Monmouth, Buttigieg “has gained ground among every major demographic group since the summer.”

Per Monmouth:

His support stands at 26% among voters who describe themselves as moderate or conservative, 23% among those who are somewhat liberal, and 15% among those who are very liberal. He is currently in the top tier for both women (24%, to 22% for Biden, and 20% for Warren), and men (20%, to 19% for Sanders and 16% for Warren).  Looking at the poll results by age, Buttigieg (26%) is nipping at Biden’s heels (29%) among voters age 65 and older. He has a slight advantage among those age 50 to 64 (24%, to 17% each for Biden and Warren), and is competitive among voters under the age of 50 (19%, to 24% for Warren and 19% for Sanders).  Buttigieg leads among college graduates (24%, to 21% for Warren and 15% for Biden) and is in the top tier among those without a college degree (21%, to 21% for Biden, 18% for Sanders, and 16% for Warren).

“Buttigieg is emerging as a top pick for a wide variety of Iowa Democrats,” Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said, noting that the presidential hopeful’s support cannot be attributed to any one group.

“While he has made nominally bigger gains among older caucusgoers, you really can’t pigeonhole his support to one particular group,” he continued. “He is doing well with voters regardless of education or ideology.”

Additionally, Buttigieg is enjoying the highest favorability in the crowded field, with a 73 percent favorability rating from likely Democrat caucus-goers. Warren follows with 69 percent, followed by Biden with 65 percent and Sanders with 61 percent.


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