Buttigieg tops new Iowa poll in close race


Caitlin Yamada/ Iowa State Daily

Pete Buttigieg speaks during his stop in Carroll, Iowa, on the Fourth of July.

Jake Webster

Pete Buttigieg leads a poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers for the first time.

A Monmouth University poll found Buttigieg with 22 percent support, followed by Joe Biden with 19 percent, Elizabeth Warren with 18 percent, Bernie Sanders with 13 percent, Amy Klobuchar with 5 percent, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer with 3 percent and Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard with 2 percent support. All other candidates have the support of 1 percent or fewer likely Democratic caucusgoers.

Buttigieg’s lead is well-within the poll’s margin of error of 4.6 percent.

The director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, released a statement showing Buttigieg has become a top pick for a variety of Democratic constituencies in Iowa.

“While he has made nominally bigger gains among older caucusgoers, you really can’t pigeonhole his support to one particular group,” Murray said in the statement. “He is doing well with voters regardless of education or ideology.”

Buttigieg has consistently polled better in Iowa than he does in national polling, in part due to the state’s demographics.

Though Buttigieg leads the field in the poll, the statement accompanying the poll’s release said fewer than one-third of likely caucusgoers are firmly committed to their candidate of choice and “most would not be too disappointed if they had to switch their support.”

53 percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers are at least “moderately” likely to change their minds on the candidate they intend to support before caucus night, according to the poll.

Caucusgoers may change their minds “up to the last minute,” Murray said in the statement.

“In fact, some probably even look forward to waiting until caucus night to settle on a candidate,” Murray said in the statement. “This all translates to a race that is extremely fluid and will probably stay that way up to [caucus night].”

Should Buttigieg eventually prevail on caucus night 82 days away from Wednesday, he would be the first Democratic presidential candidate without experience as an incumbent president, former or incumbent vice president, governor or experience in Congress to win the caucus. Buttigieg has served as mayor of South Bend, Ind., since 2012.

Monmouth’s poll was conducted Thursday through Monday, contacting 966 registered voters in Iowa. For results based on the sample of 452 contacted voters who indicated they are likely to participate in the Democratic caucuses, with 95 percent confidence the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.6 percent, according to the statement accompanying the release.