Pete Buttigieg Moves Ahead of Sanders, Biden in Iowa

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Mayor Pete Buttigieg has surged to the front of the pack in Iowa, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

In the latest polls released, Buttigieg received 19 percent of support from likely Iowa caucus-goers, second only to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.). That leaves the small-town Mayor ahead of both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden, two frontrunners in the race.

The Quinnipiac poll comes just days after a New York Times/Siena College poll showed Buttigieg leading Biden in Iowa, the presumptive frontrunner in the race.

Historically, candidates who win in Iowa — the first state to vote in the primary — are able to build momentum behind their campaigns. That’s why the coveted battleground state is one of the most popular campaign stops, and that’s why the news of Buttigieg’s surge to the front could usher in a new chapter of the race.

Throughout his campaign, Buttigieg has been selling himself as someone who understands the Rust Belt midwest and can connect with liberal, cosmopolitan voters too. As the positive poll numbers came in, he embraced the new momentum from a campaign stop in Iowa.

“Well, friends, this is what it feels like when you realize you are definitely going to be the next president of the United States!” he told an excited crowd in Des Moines, according to The Chicago Tribune. “This is what it feels like to build a movement. This is what it feels like to insist on change.”

Some onlookers weren’t as thrilled about the news. Walker Bragman, a far-left reporter and pundit, said if Buttigieg does well in Iowa it will only prove that “corporate money can buy limited success for even unknown candidates.”

There’s still plenty of time for things to change. The same Quinnipiac poll found that just around half of all likely caucus-goers were open to changing their mind before the election, and national polls still show Buttigieg trailing other top-tier candidates like Warren, Biden and Sanders. For now, the campaign is embracing what might be an early election victory.

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