December Iowa State poll of likely caucusgoers sees little movement


Trevor Babcock/ Iowa State Daily

Pete Buttigieg speaks at a town hall Nov. 4 in Spencer, Iowa.

Jake Webster

Bernie Sanders is running just behind Pete Buttigieg in the latest Iowa State poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers.

Pete Buttigieg maintains a lead of 3 percent in the latest survey, well within the survey’s margin of error, with 24 percent support to Sanders’ 21 percent. Elizabeth Warren follows with 18 percent and rounding out the top-tier of candidates is Joe Biden who has 15 percent support. Amy Klobuchar has 4 percent support while no other candidate has more than 3 percent support.

Since the last poll was released, Buttigieg is down 2 percent, Sanders is up 3 percent, Warren is down 1 percent, Biden is up 3 percent and Klobuchar is down 1 percent.

“That’s the striking thing to me is that basically nothing has changed,” said Dave Peterson, a professor of political science at Iowa State and the poll’s organizer. “The order between Sanders and Warren flipped but it’s basically a tie.”

The Iowa State poll reflects other recent surveys, with the top four well into double-digits in most polls and a wide gap before reaching the fifth placed candidate, Klobuchar. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Buttigieg is in first in the aggregate still with 22 percent support, followed by Sanders with 20 percent, Biden with 18.8 percent and Warren with 16 percent. Klobuchar is behind the top-contenders by nearly double digits, she has 6.3 percent support.

Sanders is buoyed by his strong support from younger voters, receiving the support of 35 percent of those ages 18 to 34 — 15 percent more than any other candidate. Buttigieg, conversely, does better among older voters, with the support of 30 percent of those 50 to 64 and 25 percent of those 65 or older. The amount of support Sanders receives has not changed much over the course of the months Iowa State has conducted polls.

[Sanders’ level of support] is a straight line — there’s nobody moving in, there’s nobody moving out,” Peterson said.

There is still time in the race for candidates to “catch fire” and enter the top-tier of contenders, Peterson said.

“Klobuchar and Booker are probably best positioned [to gain ground in the race],” Peterson said.

The Iowa State poll of 632 likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers was conducted online by Civiqs from last Thursday through Monday. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.