South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg appears to be gaining ground in Iowa, jumping to the head of the 2020 Democratic pack in the latest Monmouth University Poll.
According to the latest numbers, Buttigieg has surpassed the longtime frontrunners — former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. (RELATED: Poll: 32% Of Democrats Believe It’s Racist To Criticize Politicians Of Color)
Among likely caucus-goers, Buttigieg is the first choice for 22%, a 14-point gain since the August poll when he was at 8%. Biden follows the Indiana mayor with 19%, a 7-point drop from 26% in August. Warren has dropped 2 points to 18%, and Sanders gained 5 points — rising from 8% to 13%.
Buttigieg also leads the Iowa field in favorability — he has a 73% favorable and 10% unfavorable rating. Warren comes close with a 69% favorable and 23% unfavorable rating, followed by Biden with a 65% favorable and 26% unfavorable rating.
Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, noted that Iowa number especially could change dramatically over the course of the primary. “Iowa caucusgoers are used to changing their minds up to the last minute. In fact, some probably even look forward to waiting until caucus night to settle on a candidate. This all translates to a race that is extremely fluid and will probably stay that way up to February 3rd,” Murray explained.
The polling appears to confirm Murray’s assessment — according to the November data, fewer than one-third of caucus-goers (28%) have made a final decision on which candidate to support.