A day out from the nation’s first Democratic presidential primary, a new poll shows the apparent Iowa leaders Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg surging once again while Joe Biden continues to fade.
The poll from the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion has Sen. Sanders of Vermont surging two points ahead of an identical survey a week earlier, to a commanding lead with 25%. It also shows former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Buttigieg rising five points, to 17%, while former Vice President Biden falls eight points to fourth place with 14%.
Also falling five points is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who managed to hold onto third place, with 15%. Another noteworthy change: Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota picked up two points, rising to 8%.
The poll still finds remarkable volatility among New Hampshire voters, with 40% telling pollsters they still might change their minds before Tuesday’s primary election.
The poll surveyed 440 New Hampshire Democratic Party likely voters. It has a margin of error of 6.5%. During the survey, which was taken last week, the results of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses were not known, though it had become apparent that Sanders and Buttigieg were in front with Biden a distant fourth. That has not changed as the Democratic Party struggles to close that contest and declare results.
“We are now looking at a race with a leader. After the chaos surrounding the Iowa caucus, Bernie Sanders has emerged as the candidate to beat in a state he won by more than 20 points in 2016. But Mayor Pete Buttigieg is on the rise and received the biggest post-Iowa bump,” Joshua Dyck, director of the Center for Public Opinion and an associate professor of political science, wrote in a news release from the center. “With Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren trending downward, the question is, does Mayor Pete have enough time and can he woo enough of the soft support away from other candidates to catch Bernie?”
While Biden has never been a big favorite in New Hampshire, the poll continues to sound alarm bells for the national leader in Democratic polling, indicating he could come out of New Hampshire with a second-consecutive unimpressive showing.
Other Granite State polling, as tracked by RealClearPolitics, shows similar results: Sanders out front and rising; Buttigieg rising as well as the only challenger within striking distance; Warren and Biden slipping into also-ran levels, battling for third; and Klobuchar rising from the rest of the pack to make it look like a five-person field.
Sanders still does best among those under the age of 45, gaining 34% of the 18- to 44-year-old vote and 22% of the 45 and older vote.
Buttigieg, however, has a more age-balanced coalition drawing 15% of those 18 to 44 and 17% of those 45 and older. Additionally, while Sanders does better than other candidates among liberals, drawing 31% support, Buttigieg draws 21% support, which is second best. Sanders also draws 19% of moderates in this survey, which ties him among moderates with Biden.
Perhaps unexpectedly, Sanders does better than every other candidate among women, with 29%. The next closest candidate is Warren, who received 17% of the women’s vote in the survey.