Jan 10, 2020

Top 4 Democrats statistically neck and neck in Iowa presidential poll

Biden and Warren participate at the sixth Democratic primary debate. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders has gained momentum to become the first choice among likely Iowa caucus-goers three weeks before the nation's first presidential contest, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have slowed in the latest poll from The Des Moines Register, Mediacom and CNN.

Why it matters: But taking the margin of error into account, the poll shows the Vermont senator in a statistical dead heat with Warren, Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.

By the numbers: Sanders is the top choice for president for 20% of likely attendees to the Democratic caucus, the poll shows. Warren stands in second place at 17% and Buttigieg takes third at 16%, while Joe Biden stands at 15%.

Methodology: The latest poll tallied 701 likely Democratic caucus-goers from Jan. 2-8. The poll's margin of error is -/+ 3.7 percentage points.

  • Due to the poll's margin of error, all four top candidates are in a statistical dead heat.

Be smart: Sanders clawed back 5 percentage points from the November poll, when Buttigieg was the first choice among 25 percent of likely caucus goers. Warren came in first among 16 percent of those polled, while Biden and Sanders were each the favorite of 15 percent at the time.

Yes, but: Sanders beat his competitors in Q4 fundraising, raking in $34.5 million — while Buttigieg followed at $24.7 million.

  • Sanders' "anti-establishment message hasn’t changed for 50 years, and it resonates with working-class voters and young people who agree the system is corrupt and it will take a revolution to fix it," the New York Times' Sydney Ember wrote in December.

Go deeper: Bernie Sanders is the dominant Democrat of the Trump era

Editor's note: This piece has been updated to show that Sanders has gained momentum in the January poll.

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The deeply divided Democrats

Photos: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe, Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media, Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency and Alex Wroblewski via Getty Images

Democratic voters remain stubbornly divided on the top candidates in the four critical early states — and basically split in half between liberal and more centrist candidates.

Why it matters: A slew of new polls illuminates why many top Democrats think the 2020 race will be a long slog — and culminate with a fierce ideological battle between Sanders-style socialism and Biden-style tempered liberalism.

Go deeperArrowJan 11, 2020

A week out, Sanders opens Iowa lead

Photo: Stephen Maturen/AFP via Getty Images

Ahead of the Iowa caucuses eight days from now, the NY Times says Sen. Bernie Sanders is "consolidating support from liberals and benefiting from divisions among more moderate" candidates, per the Times/Siena College poll.

Why it matters: Sanders gained 6 points since the last Times-Siena survey in late October and now has 25% of the vote in Iowa.

Go deeperArrowJan 26, 2020

What to watch for at tonight's Democratic debate

Candidates at the last Democratic debate in Iowa. Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty Images

The biggest story heading into New Hampshire is Pete Buttigieg's meteoric rise, which has the potential to shift the dynamics of the primary field and is rattling his rivals to his left and right.

The state of play: Following his strong showing in Iowa, Buttigieg jumped 12 percentage points in a New Hampshire poll between Monday (the day of the Iowa caucus) and Thursday, and his opponents are saying his name more regularly in their stump speeches throughout the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy