Pete Buttigieg Surges In New Iowa Poll

A new poll shows Pete Buttigieg surging in Iowa, where the Caucuses are 92 days away.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has been quietly rising to the top of several polls over the past month or so, is narrowly leading in a new poll out of Iowa, whose caucuses are less than three months away:

Pete Buttigieg, whose presidential campaign has been steadily gaining ground in Iowa over recent weeks, sits narrowly atop the 2020 Democratic field in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, according to a survey.

Monmouth University poll published Tuesday shows the South Bend, Ind., mayor is the first choice of 22 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers — outrunning all other rivals in Iowa for the party’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump.

Former Vice President Joe Biden ranks in second place with 19 percent support, followed closely by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 18 percent and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont with 13 percent.

Although no other candidate cracked double-digit support, 5 percent of likely caucusgoers favored Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and California Sen. Kamala Harris, billionaire activist Tom Steyer and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang each received 3 percent. The remainder of the Democratic pack achieved 2 percent support or less.\

This represents a 14-point gain for Buttigieg from the last Monmouth poll of the Hawkeye State and is at least somewhat consistent with other polling showing him doing well in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two contest of the 2020 campaign. A recently released Quinnipiac poll showed Senator Elizabeth Warren in the lead at 20%, followed closely behind by Buttigieg at 19%, Senator Bernie Sanders at 17%, former Vice-President Biden at 15%, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar at 5%, California Senator Kamala Harris at 4%, and Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard at 3%, and all other candidates at or under 1%.

The RealClearPolitics average for Iowa, meanwhile shows the following:

  1. Elizabeth Warren — 20.0%
  2. Pete Buttigieg — 19.7%
  3. Joe Biden — 17.0%
  4. Bernie Sander — 16.2%
  5. Amy Klobuchar — 4.7%
  6. Kamala Harris — 3.3%
  7. Andrew Yang — 3.0%
  8. Tom Stever — 2.7%
  9. Tulsi Gabbard — 2.3%
  10. Cory Booker — 1.7%
  11. All other candidates at or under 1%

You can also see Buttigieg’s rise in the RealClearPolitics average, where Buttigieg is represented by the purple line:

Buttigieg is also doing well in New Hampshire, where the RealClearPolitics average shows Biden and Warren tied for first place at 19.7%, with Senator Bernie Sanders close behind at 19.0%, and Buttigieg at 11.3%. Following Buttigieg, we find the rest of the field lagging in the Granite State. Tulsi Gabbard, for example, comes in fifth place at 4.0%, followed by Andrew Yang and Senator Klobuchar at 3.3%, Kamala Harris at 3.0%, Tom Steyer at 2.3%, and Cory Booker at 1.7%. All other candidates are under 1%.

While Buttigieg seems to be surging in these first two states, his performance elsewhere is not quite as impressive. Nationally, for example, Buttigieg stands in fourth place at 7.5% in the RealClearPolitics and he is under 5% percent in the average in both Nevada, which he is in fourth place at 4.8%, and South Carolina, where he is in sixth place at 4.0%. These last three numbers, of course, are largely reflective of the fact that Buttigieg continues to have problems connecting with minority voters. Whether he’s able to turn that around in the coming months will go a long way toward determining if he is able to become one of the top contenders for the nomination or whether he’ll end up being a flash in pan. For what it’s worth, though, Mayor Pete seems to be beginning to surge at a good point in the calendar. What he does with it remains to be seen.

FILED UNDER: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    Klobuchar is right, a woman with Buttigieg’s resume wouldn’t get a second look. But he does have appeal and he’s maximizing it. I don’t see him getting the nomination but he’s the prohibitive favorite to be the VP nominee. Hopefully he isn’t Dan Quayle.

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  2. steve says:

    Quayle was pretty face and an empty head. I think Buttigieg has some real smarts. Too bad he isn’t 10 years older with 10 years more experience. And not gay. The US won’t vote for a gay guy yet.

    Steve

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  3. @Sleeping Dog:

    I don’t think Buttigieg’s rise has much to do with gender, I think it has a lot to do with how he comes across. He’s an energetic, positive candidate. Many people seem to be comparing him to Obama and while I think that’s a bit of a stretch I can certainly see some similarities.

    From what I have seen of her, Klobuchar just doesn’t come across well.

    Besides, if it is about gender then how does Seator Klobuchar explain Elizabeth Warren?

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  4. @steve:

    There’s much about Buttigieg I like but I am put off by his youth and relative inexperience.

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    Good for Pete but Iowa has about a 45% track record in picking the Dem Nom. However, thanks to Bernie, it is now one of only a handful of caucuses so I imagine it has somewhat less weight.

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  6. Jen says:

    Many people seem to be comparing him to Obama and while I think that’s a bit of a stretch I can certainly see some similarities.

    The biggest similarity I see is that Buttigieg very, very much has the “no drama Obama” vibe. In person, he comes across as genuine, smart, and unflappable. That holds real appeal, I think, for people who are just so effin’ exhausted by the current White House occupant’s histrionics.

    Buttigieg’s main issue I think is that those who see him in person/have contact with him walk away feeling far more comfortable with both his age (he seems wise and mature beyond his years) and his orientation. That level of high-contact voter outreach is doable in IA and NH, it is not in larger states.

    I disagree with Klobuchar’s gender slam. For someone young, Buttigieg has a rather astonishing array of experience that includes military service. I think any Dem with his background, poise, and smarts could be where he is (rising in the polls). That he doesn’t throw things at his staff is a plus too. 😉

    I don’t know that he’ll be the nominee, but I think he’s in good shape to either be a running mate, cabinet position, or statewide officeholder in Indiana.

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  7. grumpy realist says:

    I bet a lot of people are just sick and tired of all the Baby Boomers hogging the stage and carrying out the same ding-dong fights we’ve seen ever since the Sixties.

    At some point us old farts are going to have to realise it’s time to LEAVE the stage and gracefully retire.

    Hah. Fat Chance.

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  8. Pylon says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Klobuchar said a woman with Pete’s resume wouldn’t get a second look. Warren is a Senator with a long track record in federal politics. Its not about gender on its own – its about how much bigger a resume the woman has to have.

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  9. de stijl says:

    Has Buttigieg misstepped once?

    He’s plenty smart.

    BTW, what exactly were Trump’s accomplishments?

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  10. de stijl says:

    @Pylon:

    Both Warren and Buttigieg were my faves going in to IA/NH.

    The next 3 months will be interesting.

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  11. dmichael says:

    I agree with Doug on Buttigieg: impressive but young and inexperienced. He is also naive. As Drew Magary put it: “This is all bull… pandering” if you “believe that all it takes for every American to coexist in harmony is for a swell guy like Mayor Pete to come along and tell them all to be nice.” His is a recipe for accomplishing nothing. On the other hand, it might serve him well in the “midwest nice” of Iowa.

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  12. James Joyner says:

    @Pylon:

    Warren is a Senator with a long track record in federal politics.

    She’s only been in the Senate since 2013 and has no signature legislative achievement (granted, she’s been in a Republican-controlled Senate). She has been in Washington longer than that but in really backbench, low-profile posts.

    Still, that’s a more traditional route to the White Hosue than small-town mayor.

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  13. Michael Cain says:

    @Jen:

    …or statewide officeholder in Indiana.

    My assumption has always been that he’s trying the enormous leap from South Bend mayor to President because there’s no reasonable path to a higher elected office in Indiana for him.

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  14. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    She’s only been in the Senate since 2013 and has no signature legislative achievement (granted, she’s been in a Republican-controlled Senate). She has been in Washington longer than that but in really backbench, low-profile posts.

    I’ll give her full credit for the CFPB — that was her baby, and she got it done without being a Senator, from one of those backbench, low-profile posts. And that is pretty damned impressive.

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  15. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I don’t think Buttigieg’s rise has much to do with gender, I think it has a lot to do with how he comes across. He’s an energetic, positive candidate. […]

    From what I have seen of her, Klobuchar just doesn’t come across well.

    He’s not where he is because he’s a dude, but if he wasn’t a dude he would have been held back. Dude is the default.

    The most recent season of Doctor Who cast a woman as the Doctor for the first time ever — Jodie Whittaker. There are a lot of moments where she will do the traditional Doctor Who aloof, slightly-arrogant, in-control thing and she comes off like a total bitch. There are very real differences in how people react to a woman and a man doing the same thing.

    But, I would say that a better counter-argument is Buttigieg vs. Booker — both Rhodes scholars, both mayors, both are cut from the same “thoughtful intellectual” cloth… Booker has some Senate experience on top of that, and Booker gets almost no notice. There’s something special about Buttigieg that allows him to rise above his resume.

    ——
    I am very pleased with the argument that some of Whittaker’s detractors have made that she comes across as an intellectual lightweight. She’s reading technobabble barely more than reversing the polarity… like every other actor who has played the Doctor.

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Nobody said it was JUST about gender.

    Sides et al, in Identity Crisis, the most thorough analysis of 2016 I’ve seen, don’t quantify it, but they conclude gender hurt Clinton. Why, because however much it helped her with women, it hurt her more with men. Being female, they say, isn’t as strong a part of self identity as being a traditional male. However, Dems seem to be making inroads even with lower education white women.

    The last time I mentioned this gender disadvantage I got down voted, beyond the usual troll or two. I’m not advocating for this, I’m just pointing out gender is, in fact, a disadvantage for a woman. Warren, or Klobuchar or Harris may well be our best candidate, but gender is a hurdle to be overcome.

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  17. Jen says:

    @Michael Cain: Indiana has had a number of Democratic statewide officeholders, most notably they held the governorship for a number of consecutive terms up until 2005. Evan Bayh was elected US Senator from Indiana and governor.

    It’s sort of like Massachusetts voters electing Republican governors. It does happen, people just don’t really take much note of it. I think it’s entirely within reason that he got in the race to raise his profile and caught fire because he takes issues away from Republicans.

    Republicans support the military! Oh, yeah? Buttigieg served, Trump didn’t.
    Republicans are the only ones who respect those with religious beliefs! Oh yeah? Compare Trump’s command of Christian principles with Buttigieg’s.
    Etc.

    I really have come to care far less about the number of years someone has under their belt. That was a big issue for me–I’m embarrassed to say–in 2008. So much so that I voted for McCain because I didn’t think a first-term US Senator with only two years in office had enough experience. I was wrong.

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  18. Gustopher says:

    While Buttigieg seems to be surging in these first two states, his performance elsewhere is not quite as impressive. Nationally, for example, Buttigieg stands in fourth place at 7.5% in the RealClearPolitics and he is under 5% percent in the average in both Nevada, which he is in fourth place at 4.8%, and South Carolina, where he is in sixth place at 4.0%.

    Typically, candidates that do well in Iowa and New Hampshire build excitement and enthusiasm that gives them a boost elsewhere. I’d put a lot less weight in polls after those first two states since it will be a very different race by that point. Favorables and unfavorables, along with the infrastructure to capitalize on an early success are likely more telling.

    These last three numbers, of course, are largely reflective of the fact that Buttigieg continues to have problems connecting with minority voters.

    That’s true, but basically all the candidates other than Biden aren’t connecting with minorities yet — at least not enough to be a first choice. (Warren has had some positive movement there).

    Buttigieg’s path requires Biden to do poorly enough in Iowa and New Hampshire to lose that sense of inevitability and electability.

    It doesn’t help Buttigieg that among the 230 languages he speaks he includes Norwegian, “jive” and Elvish, but not Spanish. (That last sentence was not meant to be a factual statement)

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  19. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Klobuchar is right, a woman with Buttigieg’s resume wouldn’t get a second look.

    I don’t disagree with Klobuchar, but I do think that when a woman candidate points out gender issues this way, it comes across as whining and that it can quickly overshadow other issues. Fair or not, you have to run with the political environment you have not the one you wish you had.

    Clinton made the historic nature of a woman President a feature of her campaign, and I thought that was a mistake. It allowed her accomplishments (Benghazi, running a large, complicated underground child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, controlling the drug trade, etc) to fade into the background. Her campaign slogan “I’m with her” made it all about gender.

    I love Warren’s approach, of leaving it as an aside, saying things like “when the next president takes over, she is — I love the sound of that, the next president, she — she is going to have to rebuild our relationships with nato…”

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  20. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    I don’t disagree with Klobuchar

    I do. The argument is very similar to—but sort of the flip side of—what Geraldine Ferraro said about Obama in 2008, where she argued that he wouldn’t have gotten where he was if he wasn’t black. Klobuchar’s comments lack the racially inflammatory element (though I have heard others suggest Pete’s rise wouldn’t have happened if he were straight—which I think is absurd), but what it shares is reducing a candidate’s qualities entirely to their on-paper credentials. As alluded to earlier, Klobuchar is rather lacking in the charisma department, whereas Pete has oodles of it, as did Obama. You can call that superficial, but it’s always been a factor in politics, and it goes a long way in explaining his appeal.

    None of this is to suggest that there aren’t sexist double standards in politics. Of course there are. But statements along the lines of “If X candidate were a different race or gender they’d have been treated completely differently” are usually oversimplistic. A candidate’s fortunes are always going to rest on a complex range of factors, and these sweeping, absolutist statements are just caricaturing the nature of how bias factors into the mix.

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  21. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    She ran an international pedophile sex ring in a pizza parlor that doesn’t have a basement, contrary to claims otherwise. Do you realize how hard that is?

    Big ups just for dealing with whole curtain sitch. Clinton not only managed the shade crisis, but the lack of basement too.

    Unparalleled management skills, yet Trump “won.”

    How does QAnon have any followers at all? You have to want to be fooled. The core belief is easily debunked utter fantasy. Willfull, abject servitude.

    Why? To what purpose?

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  22. de stijl says:

    Klobuchar is the daughter of the most revered basketball coach in Minnesota history.

    She is definitely a sharp professional, but her last name garnered attention above and beyond her stature and accomplishments compared to her peers.

    Dinging Buttigieg in particular is troubling.

    He got here because he’s gay is a bad take coming from anyone, much less from Klobuchar.

    She won Minnesota AG back in the day because of dad.

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: Charisma only helps when you can get someone’s attention. A woman with Buttigieg’s resume would not fit neatly into the boy genius trope that he does, and would be judged harshly for so much ambition.

    I have heard others suggest Pete’s rise wouldn’t have happened if he were straight—which I think is absurd

    I think he would have a very different rise. And, he wouldn’t have Chasten, which would be a shame — Chasten handles a lot of the “humanize the robot boy” social media posts.

    He’s a very charismatic robot boy, the iPhone of robot boys, but Chasten brings the slightly-aloof/analytical thing down a bit.

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  24. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    She ran an international pedophile sex ring in a pizza parlor that doesn’t have a basement, contrary to claims otherwise. Do you realize how hard that is?

    Don’t be absurd.

    She filled in the basement, backdated architectural blueprints, AND established a real pizza shop to cover it all up once people began to learn about it. This is the type of hard work and competence that we need from our leaders.

    She probably had Epstein killed because he was a competitor.

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  25. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: a lot of folks I follow on Twitter, many of them people of color and/or LGBT, and virtually all very liberal, feel similarly to Klobuchar. Much of the buzz around Buttigieg centers on his intelligence, his achievements, his language skills – all of which many of the other female and POC Democrats who are running also have. And, with the exception of his military service, they all have much more political and professional experience.

    The comparable comment to Ferraro’s statement would be if someone is suggesting that he’s getting this attention because he’s gay. Yeah, some are saying that, but Klobuchar and many others are not. They’re saying that a privileged white man is getting out-sized attention, beyond what his accomplishments and experience should merit, the way many other privileged white men have throughout our history. (And since he only came out a few years ago, anti-LGBT prejudice wasn’t standing in his way). That’s not at all similar to saying that a black man, born when many African-Americans couldn’t even vote, in a nation where a black man had never been nominated let alone elected to the presidency, is only where he is because he’s black.

    And I am inclined to agree. He doesn’t particularly stand out to me, either. I don’t really see any charisma, and I think he is far too inexperienced. And while Obama’s message of unity was welcome in 2008, someone promoting the same thing in 2019 seems naive and foolish. I do really like Chasten, though – his hubby is pretty awesome.

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  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    She probably had Epstein killed because he was a competitor.

    That’s a very important point. I’ve heard a lot of people are saying that. I’m not saying it myself because I don’t really know, but a lot of people are saying that, I’ve heard. You can see it a lot of places.

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  27. de stijl says:

    My two faves – Pete and Warren are holding up and polling well.

    Who is Chasten, btw? (Googles) Ah! Pete’s hubby. Couple of comments now make much more sense.

    Great name. Chasten.

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  28. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It has been reported that people have said just that.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Hot take. Epstein was the concrete contractor! Bam whut! I saw it on RT.

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  29. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    The Clintons are indeed hyper competent at crimes. And burying all the bodies. God bless ’em!

    It’s why I vote D.

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  30. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Dude, that was harsh.

    And you’re hanging your argument on his husband’s charisma.

    I have drunk posted too.

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  31. Pylon says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’d say chairing the TARP oversight committee, CFPB agency work, and the FDIC Advisory Committee before being elected were pretty darn big jobs. Then she was on pretty big committees as a Senator IMO. One’s that actually deal with real-life issues for voters.

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  32. Scott F. says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Buttigieg has come up with a pretty strong counter argument to his youth being an issue – he’s of the generation that will have to face the consequences of the decisions (or deferrals of action) made today. If anyone is going to change the historical trend of young people as an unreliable source of votes in electoral politics, it’s going to be someone with this message.

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  33. Matt says:

    @dmichael: We are tired of old rich white guys ruining shit for us while insulting us for being young and naive….

    @Scott F.:HURR HURR MILLENNIALS ARE SUCH TERRIBLE PEOPLE WHO ARE LAZY DUMB AND RUINING AMERICA HURR HURR… We are tired of the stupid jokes and we’re tired of you people shitting on us because you can’t admit you’re the ones fcking things up. Hence the whole Ok Boomer thing.

    EDIT : That wasn’t really aimed at you so much as the subject you were talking about.

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  34. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher:

    She filled in the basement, backdated architectural blueprints, AND established a real pizza shop to cover it all up once people began to learn about it.

    That sort of thing is easy when you have the time machine Obama used to put those birth announcements in the Honolulu papers.

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  35. wr says:

    @Matt: “We are tired of old rich white guys ruining shit for us while insulting us for being young and naive….”

    I would find your arguments more interesting and convincing if you used the first person singular pronoun instead of the plural.

    So tired of every commenter claiming to speak for “us,” whether “us” is a race, a generation, or America.

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  36. Matt says:

    @wr: Well you could…. you know take a look around and see how far the “ok boomer” thing has spread then maybe ponder why for a bit. You know maybe some millennials are getting tired of the same old jokes blaming them for everything wrong?

    Or you could just pretend whatever it is you’re pretending.

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  37. Matt says:

    @wr: Also to clarify when I say “us” I’m solely referring to the Pete supporters I personally know. It also covers people I know who support other candidates including Trump. Yeah it’s kind of weird to talk to a Trump supporter who rants about Boomers….

    I’m not claiming to represent a generation or even a large group of people. Nothing so grand but thanks for playing.

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  38. al Ameda says:

    @Gustopher:

    She filled in the basement, backdated architectural blueprints, AND established a real pizza shop to cover it all up once people began to learn about it.

    Fun fact: Vince Foster designed that basement.

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