As the remaining Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential election prepare to make their final case for voters ahead of the Iowa caucuses on February 3, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders surged in a crucial poll in the state to take the lead over all of his opponents.
According to The Hill, a Des Moines Register/CNN poll revealed on Friday that 20 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers are pulling for the self-described Democratic socialist, giving him a narrow first-place finish. A previous iteration of the same survey in November had the senator in third place with 15 percent support.
His closest competitor in the poll, at 17 percent, was California Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She shares close to the same level of progressive ideology with 78-year-old Sanders, which provides at least some insight as to what Democratic Iowa voters might be searching for in the next president.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg both trailed Sanders and Warren, tying in the poll with 15 percent each. Buttigieg’s new numbers were of important note, as the former mayor led the same survey in November with 25 percent support, marking a somewhat steep decline. That could be the result of recent criticism he’s faced from opponents like Warren, who slammed him during the last debate for holding “wine cave” fundraisers.
Taking into account how none of the other candidates were able to wrangle a double-digit showing and the fact that the poll had a 3.7 percent margin of error, it appears as if the Hawkeye State could be a four-person race next month.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar only received 6 percent of support from Iowa caucusgoers, and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who has had the most success recently with unprecedented fundraising amounts, only managed to score 5 percent in the new poll.
Unfortunately for New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who has struggled to gain ground for a majority of the campaign cycle so far, his numbers remained the same as the November version of the poll. He managed to muster only 3 percent of support from Iowa voters this time around.
As The Hill pointed out, Iowa caucusgoers have a history of changing their minds at the last minute — right up to the point where they arrive to vote. Second-choice questions in the state’s polls are important to watch, and this time around, voters picked both Buttigieg and Warren as their second choices.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Sanders’ rise seems to correlate with President Donald Trump’s increased criticism of the senator. At a recent “Keep America Great” rally in Toledo, Ohio, Trump took several jabs at Sanders. In one instance, he told the rally crowd that “crazy Bernie is surging.”