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Warren leads, Buttigieg jumps into second place in caucus poll

Democratic presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg talk during a break in the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio U.S., October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Democratic presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg talk during a break in the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio U.S., October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

CEDAR RAPIDS — For the second month in a row, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is leading the Democratic field in Iowa, but Pete Buttigieg has moved into second place with 102 days until the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Warren’s support increased from 24 percent to 28 percent in the same pool of voters polled in September by Iowa State University/Civiqs.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, scored a “pretty big increase” from 13 percent to 20 percent between September and October, according to ISU political science professor Dave Peterson, who organized the poll of 598 likely caucusgoers — 68 percent Democrats and 32 percent independents.

“It shows that the time and effort he’s put into campaigning in Iowa really seems to be paying off for him,” Peterson said.

The news wasn’t as positive for former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. In September, they tied for second place with the support of 16 percent of the Civiqs research panel. This month, Sanders’ support is up to 18 percent, but he’s in third place.

“Given the month that Sanders has had with his surprising heart attack, staying in third place is pretty good,” Peterson said, adding that Biden is “fading pretty substantially.” He had the support of 12 percent of the poll respondents.

“This has to be a disappointing result for Biden,” Peterson said.

No other candidate had the support of more than 5 percent, which Peterson said shows “there is a pretty sizable gap between the four front-runners and everything else.”

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Warren was the second choice of 24 percent, followed by Buttigieg at 14 percent, Sanders and 13 and Biden at 10.

Compounding the Biden slide is the fact that once again he led in another category — the candidate likely caucusgoers don’t want as their nominee. More than 30 percent of the respondents said they don’t want Biden to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. About 20 percent felt that way about Sanders.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s share of the “don’t want” vote increased from 7 percent in September to 17 percent.

“That’s probably an indication of the penalty she paid for her brouhaha with Hillary Clinton over the weekend,” Peterson said.

Clinton claimed Gabbard is being groomed as a Russian asset. Gabbard, a National Guard member deployed to the Mideast twice, called Clinton a “warmonger.”

The results were weighted by age, race, gender, education, party and congressional district to be representative of Iowa registered voters. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. Results of the next poll are expected in mid-November.

Iowa State’s Department of Political Science, Catt Center for Women and Politics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Research and the Whitaker-Lindgren Faculty Fellowship fund the poll.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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