It’s too soon to say that former Vice President Joe Biden if feeling the Bern, but he is feeling the heat as a new poll shows him badly trailing Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont among Iowa Democratic voters.
A New York Times/Siena College poll released Saturday gives Sanders the lead in Iowa with 25 percent support, an increase of 6 percentage points from a Times-Siena survey in October, according to The New York Times.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was second at 18 percent support. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was fourth at 15 percent support, a drop from 22 percent support in October. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was fifth at 8 percent.
The caucuses — the official kickoff of the Democratic primary contest — are set for Feb. 3.
Pundits have routinely underestimated how much voters care about issues of war and peace. https://t.co/bCAchOVUes
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) January 25, 2020
The poll showed some contradictory currents among Iowa Democrats.
Fifty-five percent of those responding said they preferred a candidate who was “more moderate than most Democrats,” while only 38 percent wanted one “more liberal than most Democrats.”
The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Biden still leading Sanders by an average of 28.9 percent support to 22.7 support, although a recent Emerson poll shows Sanders only 3 points behind Biden, with the former vice president leading 30 percent to 27 percent.
But national figures can mask trends within states.
In Iowa, the average of polls shows Biden ahead 20 percent to 19.3 percent, with Sanders and Biden each having won two of the four polls averaged.
It is a different picture in New Hampshire, where the first actual primary voting is taking place Feb. 11.
In the state adjacent to Sanders’ home base of Vermont, according to RealClearPolitics, Sanders leads Biden 21.6 percent to 17.6 percent. Of the five polls averaged, Sanders won four and Buttigieg won the fifth.
The Siena-Times poll also looked ahead, and found a troubling sign for Democrats.
The poll found that President Donald Trump would defeat any of the top five Democratic candidates in Iowa in head-to-head contests.
The poll was taken between Jan. 20-23. It has a margin of error of 4.8 percent.
The Siena-Times poll also noted that 39 percent of those responding said they could be persuaded to support another candidate.
That finding could be important in the final week before the caucuses because senators such as Warren, Sanders and Klobuchar, have to remain in Washington due to Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.