AMES, Iowa – Mayor Pete Buttigieg is building momentum in Iowa, according to the latest Iowa State University/Civiqs poll. Of likely caucus-goers, 20% said Buttigieg is their top choice among the field of Democratic presidential candidates. That moves him to second in the poll – up from fourth in September – just behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren who maintained her lead at 28%.
The Iowa State University/Civiqs poll surveys the same pool of voters each month leading up to the Iowa Caucuses to understand how voter preferences are shifting. Dave Peterson, a professor and Whitaker Lindgren faculty fellow in political science who organized the poll, says Buttigieg’s ground game in Iowa is paying off.
“You can attribute some of his momentum to basic retail politics. Buttigieg is incredibly well organized and is spending a lot of resources in Iowa. His presence at the Iowa Steak Fry last month was better than any other candidate,” Peterson said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders were tied for second in the September poll. Sanders is now third with 18% and Biden is fourth at 12%. The online poll of 598 likely caucus-goers also asked voters to list the candidate they do not want to win the nomination. Biden and Sanders topped this list. Peterson says Tulsi Gabbard was third, moving from nearly 7% in September to 17%.
The online survey was sent to selected members of the Civiqs research panel. Likely caucus attendees were identified as those who responded they would “definitely” or “probably” attend the Iowa Democratic Caucuses and identified as Democrats or independents. An oversample of Democrats and independents were selected to produce a larger number of likely caucus attendees.
Demographic data were collected in previous Civiqs surveys. The results for registered voters are weighted by age, race, gender, education, party and congressional district to be representative of registered voters in Iowa. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5%. Results of the next poll are expected in mid-November.
The Iowa State University/Civiqs poll is funded by Iowa State’s Department of Political Science, Catt Center for Women and Politics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Research and the Whitaker-Lindgren Faculty Fellowship.