Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the top presidential pick of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, a CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll published Saturday night shows — but his nearest rivals are gaining ground.

By the numbers: The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co., shows 24% of those surveyed back Biden and 16% support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg both enjoyed surges, polling at 15% and 14%, respectively.

The big picture: The only other candidates to poll above 1% were Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at 7% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, who were both backed by 2% of those surveyed. Nine candidates failed to register support in the poll.

Why it matters: As Iowa is the first state to caucus in presidential elections, it serves as an early indicator of which candidates could succeed at the national level. Selzer & Co. president J. Ann Selzer noted to the Des Moines Register, "We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify."

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