South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg just shot to the top of the pack in Iowa in the latest poll from the early primary state.
The 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful got first place in a Monmouth Poll of the Midwestern state, with 22% of likely caucusgoers saying he’s their first choice to be the Democratic nominee.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were second, third, and fourth in the poll, with 19%, 18%, and 13% of respondents saying they preferred them, respectively.
Buttigieg also came out on top if people’s first and second choices were combined. 37% of like caucusgoers in Iowa picked Buttigieg as either their first or second choice, edging out Warren who is in the top-two for 35% of respondents.
IOWA DEM CAUCUS POLL: #2020Dem preference:
1st choice (1st+2nd combined)
— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) November 12, 2019
Monmouth breaks down the results, which show that Buttigieg is doing somewhat worse (15%) among people who say they’re “very liberal” and slightly better (23%) among people who say they’re “somewhat liberal.”
Among respondents over age 65, Buttigieg did somewhat better (26%) but fell behind Biden (29%), and Buttigieg is in first place among people with a college degree (24%).
But this could all change before the caucuses – only 28% of respondents in the poll said that they had “firmly” decided.
“Buttigieg is emerging as a top pick for a wide variety of Iowa Democrats,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “While he has made nominally bigger gains among older caucusgoers, you really can’t pigeonhole his support to one particular group. He is doing well with voters regardless of education or ideology.”
Iowa will be the first state to hold a primary in 2020, giving it out-sized influence on who will represent the Democratic Party in the general election. Candidates want to do well in that state to show voters in later states that they have a real shot at winning.
While Buttigieg is polling well in Iowa, he’s not doing well in other early primary states, notably South Carolina, which will hold the fourth primary of the year.
According to RealClearPolitics, Buttigieg is averaging 7.5% in national polls, which puts him in fourth place behind Biden, Warren, and Sanders.