CEDAR RAPIDS — A new poll of Iowa voters released Saturday night suggests a disruption in the Democratic primary contest in the first voting state, with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg surging to the front of the crowded pack.
The survey showed Buttigieg with support from 25 percent of likely caucusgoers, followed by essentially a three-way tie for second place between Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former vice president Joe Biden, who all have about 15 percent support. None of the other candidates are in double digits.
The poll differs from other recent Iowa polls, which showed Buttigieg, Biden, Warren and Sanders knotted closely together. The survey, released by CNN, the Des Moines Register and Mediacom, was of 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
“That’s extremely encouraging, obviously,” said Buttigieg, speaking to reporters after the poll came out at the California Democrats Convention in Long Beach. “We have felt a lot of momentum on the ground.”
Buttigieg said that he has seen more enthusiasm for his candidacy in the state since Labor Day and credited his strong performances in the debates and big state events with boosting his campaign.
Another bright spot in the numbers for Buttigieg is that 63 percent of likely caucusgoers think his views are about right, the highest of the four candidates tested. Only 7 percent say his views are too liberal, while 13 percent feel they’re too conservative.
Biden places second in the “about right” category with 55 percent, though that is down from 70 percent in March. Like Buttigieg, 7 percent say Biden’s views are too liberal. But 28 percent say Biden’s views are too conservative.
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Nearly half of likely caucusgoers (48 percent) say Warren’s views are about right, compared with 38 percent who think her views are too liberal. A majority of likely caucusgoers (53 percent) deem Sanders’ political views to be too liberal, up from 44 percent in March. Thirty-seven percent say his views are “about right.”