Buttigieg, Sanders run head-to-head in final poll ahead of Iowa caucuses

February 4, 2020

With just hours to go before the Democratic caucuses began in Iowa yesterday, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was running head-to-head with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), based on findings of a poll conducted on behalf of Focus on Rural America by David Binder Research.

The new poll found Buttigieg leading the field with 19% of the vote-and Sanders at a near statistical tie, with 17% of the vote, The Hill reported. Both had gained 3 percentage points since the last Focus on Rural America poll, conducted in early January.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) each took 15% of the vote, suggesting downward trajectories for two candidates who had led earlier surveys conducted by the same pollster. Warren’s share declined 3 points from the early January survey, while Biden’s support dropped by 9 points.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) took 11% of the vote—just under the 15% viability threshold necessary to claim delegates when the votes are counted, The Hill noted.

Warren is the top second choice among voters—taking 20% and suggesting she may have the strongest upside potential. Seventeen percent each said Biden and Klobuchar were their second choices, and 13% said Sanders would be number two on their list if their chosen candidate is not viable. Buttigieg clocked in fifth, at 10%.

The least-favorably viewed Democratic presidential candidate, the poll found, is the one who is not competing for Iowa’s votes. Just 30% of Iowa Democrats said they had a favorable impression of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has poured millions into television ads in every state except Iowa. Fifty percent said they see Bloomberg unfavorably.

The race remained in flux even hours before Iowans head to the caucuses, The Hill reported. Only 51% of Iowa voters said they were completely certain to stick with their chosen candidates. 

The poll, conducted January 28-30, surveyed 300 likely caucus-goers and reported a margin of error of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points. That high margin means all four of the top contenders have a realistic shot at winning the caucuses.

 Research contact: @thehill

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