Biden Drops, Buttigieg Surges in Latest Iowa Poll

Ex-VP is now at 18%, Warren at 17%, and Buttigieg at 13%; Harris, Sanders in single digits
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2019 7:21 AM CDT
In Shifting New Poll, Iowa 'Up for Grabs'
Democratic presidential candidates (from left) Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg at the Democratic presidential primary debate at Otterbein University on Tuesday in Westerville, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A lot can change in four months, and new polling in Iowa suggests seismic shifts among the ever-changing top tier of Democratic presidential candidates. Per a new Suffolk University/USA Today survey of 500 likely Democratic caucus attendees, it's now a three-way race between Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and, in a surprise boost, Pete Buttigieg, with the notable lead Biden once enjoyed dissipating. In the June version of the same poll, Biden took first place with 24% of the poll respondents, with Kamala Harris at 16%, Warren at 13%, and Buttigieg not even on the double-digit map, with just 6%. Last week's poll shows a significantly narrowed gap, with Biden at 18%, Warren at 17%, and Buttigieg at 13%. Harris fell 13 percentage points and is now tied for sixth place.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders held steady at 9%. "Iowa is unquestionably up for grabs," Suffolk University Political Research Center head David Paleologos tells USA Today, noting Buttigieg "has found a lane and is accelerating toward the front of the pack, surpassing Bernie Sanders." Both Buttigieg and Warren are siphoning off support from Sanders, per Newsweek: In an Emerson Polling survey of voters last week—which places Warren and Biden in a tie at 23%, with Buttigieg at 16%—Warren took 26% of the vote from caucusgoers who picked Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016, with Buttigieg drawing 16%. The current standings aren't set in stone, however: Per the current Suffolk University/USA Today poll, those who say they're undecided has risen to 29%, an 8-point jump. Meanwhile, 63% of those who say they already have a candidate in mind note they could still switch teams. (More Election 2020 stories.)

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