In the first post-debate poll of likely Iowa Democratic Caucus-goers, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg moved within striking distance of Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
According to the Suffolk University/USA Today poll conducted of 500 likely caucus goers between October 16-18, the poll found that Biden held a slim lead over Warren 18 points to 17 points. Buttigieg was in third place at 13 points. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont trailed in 4th place with 9 percent. Four candidates followed polling at three percent: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California, New York Billionaire Tom Steyer, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
California Tech Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and former U.S. Rep Beto O’Rourke of Texas followed at 1 percent. Montana Governor Steve Bullock and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado rounded out the poll with less than one percent.
The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.
This is the fourth poll conducted this fall in Iowa that shows Buttigieg ahead of Sanders, and only the second poll this fall that shows Sanders polling in single digits. It also seems as though Buttigieg may be the primary beneficiary of Biden’s slip in polls.
Those polled who watched the CNN/New York Times Democratic Presidential Debate last Thursday said Buttigieg was one of the candidates who performed better than expected at 39 percent followed by Klobuchar at 28 percent.
According to this poll, Iowa is very much in play with 29 percent of those polled said they were undecided and 63 percent said they could change their mind before the caucus on February 3, 2020.
Also, since in Democratic caucuses, supporters of candidates who don’t meet a particular threshold can choose to support a candidate who does, it’s interesting to see who Iowa Democrats share as their second choice.
Elizabeth Warren was the second choice for 22 percent of those polled followed by Buttigieg at 14 percent, and then Biden at 12 percent.
Also interesting to note that 72 percent of those polled have not attended an event with any candidate and 62 percent did not watch the last debate.
The last time Suffolk University and USA Today polled in Iowa was June. Since then Biden saw a six point drop in support, Warren saw a four point jump in support, and Buttigieg saw a seven point jump in support.
The level of Sanders’ support remained the same at nine percent though, it should be noted, that their poll was the only one that had Sanders at single digits in Iowa in June. Harris saw a 13 point drop.