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Iowa Poll: Warren Bests Biden And Sanders For The First Time

Some of the presidential candidates who have been organizing for months in Iowa are starting to see their work pay off in the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Poll that came out Saturday. Especially Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Warren is leading for the first time in this poll, conducted by pollster J. Ann Selzer, considered the gold standard in polling. Sen. Warren is at 22 percent to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 20 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders follow them and then South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris. The other fourteen candidates follow them.

Beyond the leading number, there are other signs that Sen. Warren is growing her support in multiple ways. She’s the only candidate whose favorability ratings have gone up each time this Selzer poll has been released this cycle, while her unfavorable ratings have gone down.

The poll came out Saturday evening after seventeen of the Democratic presidential hopefuls spoke at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry at Des Moines Water Works Park. More than 12,000 people bought tickets.

“I know what’s broken. I know how to fix it and we’re building a grassroots movement to make it happen,” Warren said to conclude her speech.

Those gathered to hear her at the front of the stage punctuated Warren’s signature lines by chanting things like “two cents” when she talked about a wealth tax of two cents for every dollar for those Americans making more than $50 million a year.

The extensive grassroots campaigning that candidates have been doing in the state seemed to pay off for other candidates, too. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s message brought many to their feet.

“Because when I’m your nominee this president will have to compete with an American war veteran on the subject of who would be a better commander in chief!” Buttigieg said to cheers from the crowd.

While speaking with reporters before the program started, Biden called on President Trump to release the transcripts of a call he had with the new leader of Ukraine. Several news outlets are reporting a government whistle-blower alleges Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who had worked for a Ukrainian gas company. The former Vice President spoke with reporters before the Polk County Democrats steak fry in Des Moines.

“Depending on what the House finds he could be impeached but I’m not making that judgment now. The house should investigate him,” Biden told reporters. “This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power.”

The Iowa caucuses are February 3, 2020.

Clay Masters and Kate Payne are the hosts of the IPR Podcast Caucus Land.

Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.
Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.