A new Suffolk University/USA Today poll in Iowa shows Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has surged to within striking distance of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
The new survey, conducted after last week’s Democratic debate, shows Biden at 18 percent support, closely followed by Warren at 17 percent support. Buttigieg jumps to third place with 13 percent.
That represents a 7 point increase for the mayor since the last Suffolk poll in June. Back then, Biden held a wide double-digit lead over Warren, and Buttigieg was down at 6 percent support.
Biden has since lost 6 points and Warren increased 4 points. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) registered no change in support since June, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) lost 13 points dropping from 16 percent support to 3 percent.
Here are the results of the new poll including the amount of change from last June’s survey to today:
• Biden 18 (-6)
• Warren 17 (+4)
• Buttigieg 13 (+7)
• Sanders 9 (no change)
• Steyer 3 (+3)
• Gabbard 3 (+2)
• Harris 3 (-13)
• Klobuchar 3 (-1)
There are a couple of reasons Buttigieg, the first openly-gay presidential candidate seen as a major contender, would have seen his support increase.
He was the top fund-raiser at the end of the second quarter with $24.8 million. His campaign indicated it would not be afraid to spend those funds and they have made good on that promise.
Since then, he has opened more field offices in Iowa (22) than any other candidate. And he’s tied with Warren for the most field offices in the crucial first four states of the Democratic primary season (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada).
More organizers in a state lead to more in-person contact with voters.
Also, he was widely seen as one of the winners of last week’s CNN/New York Times Democratic debate.
The new poll shows that among those surveyed who watched the debate, Buttigieg came in first with 19 percent support ahead of Biden and Warren at 17 percent each.
Sanders was the pick of 9 percent and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) garnered 6 percent.