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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."

Go deeper: 2020 presidential election: Track which candidates are running

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.