Indecisive Democrats Push Mayor Pete to Top of Iowa Heap

With tens of candidates still in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, there appears to be no surefire way that the progressive party can gently nudge out the dozen or more candidates who have no real shot at winning.

Instead, folks like Senator Kamala Harris and businessman Andrew Yang are sticking it out, hoping to find some sort of bizarre, sudden success; perhaps in a state where they can claim that a path to victory still exists.

After all, that is precisely what seems to be happening to former long-shot candidate Pete Buttigieg.

There is a new Democratic front-runner in Iowa, and his name is Pete Buttigieg.

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, holds a clear lead in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, climbing to 25% in a new CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers. That marks a 16-point increase in support for Buttigieg since the September CNN/DMR poll. This survey comes on the heels of other recent polls that have shown Buttigieg joining the top tier of the Democratic primary race in Iowa.

Behind Buttigieg, there is a close three-way battle for second with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 16%, and former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders each at 15%. Since September, Warren dropped six percentage points and Biden slipped five points, while Sanders gained four points.

Buttigieg has only recently come into what some consider to be the “top tier” of Democratic candidates, as Mr. Mayor has been forced to repeatedly defend his campaign’s severe lack of diversity in support.