Pete Buttigieg Surges Into 3rd Place in New Iowa Poll

Pete Buttigieg.

Getty Pete Buttigieg.

Pete Buttigieg is keeping the momentum surging in the days leading up to an official campaign announcement, which is coming up on Sunday, April 14.

A new Monmouth University Poll in Iowa has Buttigieg in third place in that state, ahead of Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke. The poll was conducted over the phone April 4-9. Pollsters surveyed 761 registered Democrats, with 351 of those people identified as likely to attend the Democratic presidential caucuses in February of 2020. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 5.2 percentage points.

Monmouth University Poll: If the Democratic caucuses for president were today, who would you support? [4/04/19 to 4/09/19]

Joe Biden 27%
Bernie Sanders 16%
Pete Buttigieg 9%
Kamala Harris 7%
Elizabeth Warren 7%
Beto O’Rourke 6%
Amy Klobuchar 4%
Cory Booker 3%
Cory Booker 3%
Julian Castro 2%

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was selected as the first choice of 9 percent of Iowa Democratic voters. Former vice president Joe Biden, who has yet to enter the primary race, remains the top pick with support from 27 percent of Iowa supporters. Senator Bernie Sanders is in second with 16 percent of voters’ supporting him.

Monmouth Univesity also asked Democratic voters in Iowa who their second choice candidate would be. A full 28 percent of those surveyed selected “No One” or “Undecided” for their second choice. Biden and Harris garnered support from 12 percent of the voters apiece on that question. Warren is the second choice of 10 percent of those surveyed. O’Rourke and Sanders came in with 8 percent each. Meanwhile, 6 percent of those surveyed selected Buttigieg as their second choice.

The Top Democratic Candidates Have High Favorability Ratings, But Pete Buttigieg Still Has a Large Segment of the Population That Either Has Not Heard of Him or Has No Opinion of Him Yet

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The Monmouth University poll also reveals that as far as Mayor Pete Buttigieg has come in a short time period, he still has a long way to go in terms of national name recognition. He barely registered on national polls before early March; he began gaining traction following a CNN Town Hall appearance on March 10.

Among Democratic voters in Iowa, 45 percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable impression of the South Bend mayor, with just 9 percent holding an unfavorable view of him. But a combined 46 percent of those polled responded that they either held no opinion of him yet or had not even heard of him before.

Monmouth University Poll: What is Your General Impression of Pete Buttigieg? [4/04/19 to 4/09/19]

Favorable 45%
Unfavorable 9%
No Opinion 22%
Not Heard Of 24%

By comparison, the recent accusations against former VP Joe Biden have not appeared to damage him in Iowa. (At least seven women have claimed that Biden touched them without permission, making them feel uncomfortable. In response, Biden released a video has vowed to be more mindful of personal space in the future).

78 percent of Iowa voters stated that they have a favorable opinion of Biden. 14 percent view him negatively while 8 percent responded that they did not have an opinion either way on the former vice president.

Monmouth University Poll: What is Your General Impression of Joe Biden? [4/04/19 to 4/09/19]

Favorable 78%
Unfavorable 14%
No Opinion 8%
Not Heard Of 0%

A Majority of Democratic Voters Say It’s More Important to Have a Candidate They Feel Can Beat President Trump, As Opposed to a Candidate They Personally Agree With on the Issues

A majority of Democratic primary voters in Iowa agree that their top priority is fielding a candidate they feel has the best chance to beat President Trump. 64 percent stated that they would prefer to have a “stronger candidate against Trump” even if the voter disagrees with the candidate on most issues.

24 percent of those surveyed stated that agreement on the issues is the most important priority. That portion of the group stated that they would rather select a primary candidate who agrees with them on the issues, even if that means it would be more difficult to beat President Trump.

Agrees with but hard time beating Trump 24%
Do not agree with but stronger against Trump 64%
Rejects choice / no need to pick between two 5%
Don’t know 7%