There is a new Democratic front-runner in Iowa, and his name is Pete Buttigieg.
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, holds a clear lead in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, climbing to 25% in a new CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers. That marks a 16-point increase in support for Buttigieg since the September CNN/DMR poll. This survey comes on the heels of other recent polls that have shown Buttigieg joining the top tier of the Democratic primary race in Iowa.
Behind Buttigieg, there is a close three-way battle for second with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 16%, and former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders each at 15%. Since September, Warren dropped six percentage points and Biden slipped five points, while Sanders gained four points.
Surveying the rest of the field, no other candidate gets double-digit support. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar lands at 6%, while five candidates register 3% -- Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, investor Tom Steyer and businessman Andrew Yang. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has yet to officially announce a 2020 bid, gets 2%. The rest of the field receives 1% or less.
Buttigieg's significant rise comes in the wake of a heavy investment of time and money in Iowa. Over the last few months he has built one of the largest on-the-ground operations in the state, supplemented by a robust advertising campaign and strong public appearances, including a speech at the Democratic Party's biggest event of the year earlier this month in Des Moines.
His elevated standing in Iowa is grounded in steady support across different demographic groups. He does roughly as well with self-identified Democrats as he does with independents. He also performs about the same with previous caucusgoers as first-timers. And his support is nearly even in cities, suburbs, towns and rural areas.
So are you ready for Mayor Pete? His support isn't broad among all the constituents of the party but he is picking up steam. Will he just win Iowa and then lose on the more diverse states?
I was skeptical of the Buttigieg Surge 2.0 narrative a few weeks ago but, obviously, no way to deny it now. It does seem to be concentrated in the last couple of weeks rather than immediately after the October debate.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 17, 2019
So people, are you ready for the public option and to pack the Court? Maybe Warren should drop out and endorse Pete since he beat her to spot on the public option. Share your thoughts.