Biden pulls ahead in new Iowa poll

By Natasha Korecki

Joe Biden leads the Democratic field in Iowa, according to a new poll out Monday, two weeks before the Feb. 3 caucuses.

The Focus on Rural America poll shows the former vice president with 24 percent and the next three top-tier candidates bunched behind him, with Elizabeth Warren at 18 percent, Pete Buttigieg at 16 percent and Bernie Sanders at 14 percent. Amy Klobuchar clocked in at 11 percent.

The survey of 500 likely 2020 caucus goers, conducted January 15-18, and had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

There’s some indication that Warren and Sanders suffered fallout from their recent spat — including during and after last week's debate — over whether a woman could beat President Donald Trump. Warren contended Sanders told her in a private 2018 conversation that he did not believe a woman could win, which Sanders denied.

When asked if there was a candidate they would not support based on the debate,
12 percent of those surveyed said Warren and 11 percent said Sanders. The next highest was billionaire Tom Steyer at 4 percent.

When asked who would best represent the interests of rural Iowa, Klobuchar was the clear favorite with 29 percent.

Also in the survey, Democrats were asked what they would do if their first choice in the caucuses were not viable. While 75 percent said they would realign with another candidate, 17 percent said they would remain uncommitted and 4 percent said they would go home.

“It is significant the 17% [who] say they will remain uncommitted and may indicate that uncommitted will be viable in several precincts," a statement from the group says.

Of those who choose another candidate, Biden received 24 percent support, Buttigieg received 21 percent, Warren received 16 percent, Klobuchar received 7 percent, and Sanders received 6 percent.