A new poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers published Saturday shows South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg nine percentage points clear of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., indicating the one-time longshot is now a force to be reckoned with in the race for the Democratic nomination.
The CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll showed Buttigieg with 25 percent support, a 16 percent increase over his numbers in the September version of the poll. Behind Warren (16 percent) came former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who each garnered 15 percent support.
Warren's support has dropped six percentage points from the September CNN/DMR/Mediacom poll, while Biden's backing has slipped five percentage points. Sanders' support has risen four percentage points from two months ago.
No one else in the poll cracked double-digit support. In fifth place, behind Sanders, is Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who earned six percent of the vote.
"This @DMRegister poll confirms what we’re seeing every day — MOMENTUM!" Klobuchar tweeted Saturday night. "
Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J.; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; businessman Tom Steyer and entrepreneur Andrew Yang are all tied at three percent. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has not formally announced his candidacy, earned two percent.
Buttigieg has moved to the front of the pack in other recent polls of Iowa. A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday pegged Buttigieg at 22 percent, Biden at 19 percent, Warren at 18 percent and Sanders at 13 percent. Buttigieg's support jumped 14 percentage points compared to Monmouth’s last survey in August, while Biden’s dropped seven percentage points, Warren’s edged down two percentage points, and Sanders jumped five percentage points from the August survey.
A Quinnipiac survey released last week however had Buttigieg one point behind Warren, at 19 and 20 percentage points respectively.
Buttigieg is a 37-year-old Navy war veteran and would be America’s first openly gay president if elected. Without any sort of Washington name-recognition, the mayor’s campaign seemed a longshot before he rose to middle-tier status in the spring.
Buttigieg for many seems to offer a more moderate approach than the radical policy proposals of Warren and Sanders, and unlike Biden, he does not have to fight many concerns about his age or past voting record. Among Iowa caucusgoers, 63 percent say Buttigieg's views are about right, while only seven percent say they are too liberal and 13 percent say they are too conservative.
According to the CNN/DMR poll, Buttigieg excels with caucusgoers with incomes over $100,000 (32 percent) and self-described moderates (also 32 percent) but underperforms with union households (17 percent) and those who call themselves very liberal (12 percent).