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Iowa Poll: Pete Buttigieg grows to first place



Survey the rest of the field, no other candidate gets double-digit support. Most recently, Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota, lands at 6%, while five candidates register at 3% – Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, investor Tom Steyer and businessman Andrew Yang. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has not yet officially announced a bid for 2020, gets 2%. The rest of the field gets 1% or less.

Buttigieg's significant rise comes in the wake of a heavy investment in time and money in Iowa. In recent months, he has built one of the largest ground operations in the state, complemented by a robust advertising campaign and strong public appearances, including a speech at the Democratic Party's biggest event the year before this month in Des Moines.

His elevated position in Iowa is grounded in steady support across various demographic groups. He does just as well with self-identified Democrats as he does with independence. He also performs about the same as previous caucusgoers as first agents. And his support is almost even in cities, suburbs, cities and rural areas.

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The 37-year mayor manages slightly better among those with incomes of more than $ 100,000 (32%) and with self-described moderates (32%). His position with union households (17%) and those who call themselves very liberal (12%) is weaker than his overall average.

Among the candidates fighting for second place in this poll, Sanders has the most variety in terms of demographic groups. His support among those who describe themselves as very liberal (34%) is almost 20 points higher than his overall position. Like Sanders, Warren copes better with that group (32%) than her overall position.

Sanders also fares better with younger probable cucus goers, receiving 27% of those under 35, compared to Buttigieg of 20%, Warren of 18% and Biden 9%. At the same time, Buttigieg (28%) and Biden (27%) even run among the oldest caucus goers – those 65 and older – a group that the former vice president led by more than 20 points in September. For Buttigieg, his support among the oldest probable caucusgoers marks a significant jump from his 7% position in September.

Bidet's core strength is still the selectability factor. Of the four candidates tested, the former vice president earns the most confidence in his ability to beat Trump. A majority of probable caucusgoers (52%) say they are almost certain or fairly confident that Biden could win next November, compared to 43% who say they are not very confident or are almost sure he will lose .

Another factor pointing to Buttigig's status as prime runner is 68% of likely Democratic cucusgoers who say he is their first or second choice or who is actively considering, up from 55% in September. Warren is close to 66%, but that's a bit off from 71% in September, when she topped the field on that metric.

The Massachusetts senator is the second choice of 20% of likely cucusgoers, followed by Buttigieg of 14% and Sanders and Biden each with 13%. Harris is now the second choice for 7%, down from her 14% mark in June – although 36% say they are still actively considering her.

The only candidates besides Buttigieg and Warren who beat 50% when combining first and second elections and active consideration are Biden at 58% (compared to 60% in September) and Sanders at 55% (up from 50% in September) . Harris is now at 46%, nine points compared to his point in September.

Buttigieg's improved position can also be attributed to his high favorable rating among probable caucusgoers – 72% – the best in the field and up three points from September. Warren's favorite is at 71%, followed by Biden at 64% and Sanders at 61%.

The candidates who saw the biggest gains in their favorable ratings from September were Steyer (up 10 points to 37%) and Yang (up seven points to 43%). Booker and Harris both dipped eight points in terms of their advantage numbers and dropped to 52% and 55%, respectively. Bloomberg meanwhile saw his favorable rating drop eight points from March, down to 19% now. That coincides with a sharp increase in his unfavorable rating, up 20 points to 58%, with 30% having a very unfavorable view of Bloomberg.

The Goldilocks principle

What goes with porridge can also apply to politics.

In the case of Buttigieg, 63% of likely cucusgoers believe his views are about right, the highest of the four candidates tested. Only 7% say his views are too liberal, while 13% think they are too conservative.

Biden places second in the "about right" category with 55%, but it's down from 70% who said it in March. Like Buttigieg, 7% say his views are too liberal. But 28% say Biden's views are too conservative.

Nearly half of probable caucusgoers (48%) say Word's views are about right, compared to 38% who think her views are too liberal. A majority of likely cucusgoers (53%) consider Sanders' political views too liberal, up from 44% in March. Only 37% say his opinions are about right.

This gap within the Democratic Party is also reflected in how likely the cuckoo thinkers like the candidates approaching political positions. A majority of probable cucusgoers (52%) prefer the Democratic nominee to advocate for policies that have a good chance of becoming law, even if the changes are not as great. This is compared to 36% who want the nominee to push for major changes, although there is a lower chance that these reforms would become law.

As one would expect, the majority of Buttigieg (62%) and Biden (60%) followers prefer changes that are more likely to be adopted. Majorities of Warren (58%) and Sanders (54%) supporters want big change even if it has a tougher chance of becoming a team.

Election Argument

For these Democrats, defeating President Trump is still a priority.

Nearly two-thirds of likely cucusgoers (63%) say it is more important to them personally that the winner of the caucus is a candidate with a strong chance of beating Trump. About a third (32%) say they want a candidate who shares their views on major issues.

While there is more confidence in Biden's ability to win next November, feelings about Warren and Buttigieg are more evenly shared on this issue. For Warren, 46% are almost certain or pretty sure she will sail, the same as the proportion who say they are not very sure or that she is almost sure she will lose. For Buttigieg it is 46% to 43%.

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represents a weakness for Sanders, as 40% say they are almost certain or pretty sure of his chances against Trump compared to 53% who are not very confident or almost sure he will lose.

Among Biden supporters, 57% say they are almost certain he will defeat Trump. Support for other challengers is not as rosy. That's 48% for Sanders, 35% for Warren and 27% for Buttigieg supporters. Despite all of Buttigig's strengths in this poll, the lack of confidence among his own supporters in his ability to defeat Trump may be a warning sign given the importance of the electoral factor for Democrats.

Engagement and Enthusiasm

Since the cucus is now less than three months away, there is evidence that more voters have settled. Among likely Democratic cucusgoers, 30% say they have a first election candidate that they have decided to support. This is a 10-point increase from September, but still leaves plenty of room for preferences to change before February.

Sanders is the best choice among those who have made up to 28%, followed by Buttigieg of 22%, Biden 14% and Warren 12%. In fact, 57% of Sanders supporters say they have committed to support the senator, while less than 30% of Biden, Buttigieg and Warren supporters say their minds are composed.

However, Buttigieg leads among those who can still be persuaded by 29%, followed by Warren with 20%, Biden at 16% and Sanders with 10%.

Not only are Sanders supporters more committed, they are also the most enthusiastic. A majority of Vermont senator supporters (51%) describe themselves as extremely enthusiastic about their choice. That compares with 35% for Warren, 33% for Buttigieg and 25% for Biden.

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In a sign of potential weakness for Biden, 27% of his followers say they are mild or not enthusiastic about their choice. That compares with 18% for Sanders, 17% for Buttigieg and 16% for Warren.

There seems to be early widespread enthusiasm for the Democratic caucuses in 2020, as 63% now say they will definitely rather than probably the caucus in February. By comparison, the last Iowa poll released before the 2008 caucuses found 53% said they would definitely participate.

Here, Warren leads the pack with 72% of her followers saying that they will definitely have cuckoo compared to 63% for Sanders, 60% for Buttigieg and 59% for Biden.

The CNN / Des Moines Register / Mediacom survey was conducted by Selzer & Co. in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 8-13, among a random selection of 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers reached on landline or cell phones by a live interviewer. The results for the complete selection of probable caucusgoers have a margin for sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.


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