With one week to go until Iowa’s caucuses kick off the presidential nominating calendar, two new polls tell two very different stories of which Democratic presidential candidate is in the driver’s seat in the Hawkeye State.
Former Vice President Joe Biden enjoys a 6-point lead over his 2020 Democratic rivals in a USA Today/Suffolk University survey released Sunday. But Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is sitting on a 7-point lead over the rest of the field in a New York Times/Siena College poll released on Saturday.
Sanders grabs the support of 25 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, according to the New York Times/Siena College survey, with former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 18 percent, Biden at 17 percent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 15 percent.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of neighboring Minnesota is at 8 percent, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer are each at 3 percent, with everyone else registered at 1 percent or less.
Four in 10 questioned say they still haven’t made up their minds.
Biden’s on top in the USA Today/Suffolk University poll, at 25 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa. Sanders stands at 19 percent, with Buttigieg at 18 percent and Warren at 13 percent. Klobuchar grabs 6 percent support, with Yang at 3 percent, Steyer 2 percent, and everyone else at 1 percent or less.
"Joe Biden continues to lead because the number one issue of caucus-goers is to defeat Donald Trump," David Paleologos, director of Suffolk's Political Research Center, said.
Thirteen percent said they were undecided, with 45 percent of those backing a candidate saying they could change their minds by the Feb. 3 caucuses.
While the new live operator polls in Iowa point to different front-runners, two news surveys released Sunday in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire both point to Sanders in the lead.
A University of New Hampshire/CNN poll showed Sanders at 25 percent among likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State, with Biden at 16 percent, Buttigieg at 15 percent and Warren at 12 percent.
Sanders stood at 22 percent support in an NBC News/Marist survey, with Buttigieg at 17 percent, Biden 15 percent, and Warren 13 percent.
New Hampshire holds its presidential primary on Feb. 11, eight days after the Iowa caucuses.
The New Hampshire surveys were released on the same morning that a new Fox News national poll showed Sanders gaining ground against Biden. Sanders stood at 23 percent support, just 3 points behind Biden, who's long been the mostly unrivaled leader in national Democratic primary polls. In the previous Fox News national survey in the Democratic nomination race – conducted last month – Biden enjoyed a 10-point lead over Sanders.