MANCHESTER, N.H. – Three days after a poll in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa showed Pete Buttigieg with a clear advantage over his rival Democrats for the presidential nomination, a new survey in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House also indicates the South Bend, Ind., mayor with a large lead over the other top-tier contenders.
According to a Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll released Tuesday, Buttigieg grabbed the support of 25 percent of likely Democratic presidential primary voters in New Hampshire. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of neighboring Massachusetts were tied for second – with each at 15 percent.
The survey indicated Sen. Bernie Sanders of neighboring Vermont – who crushed eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire’s 2016 presidential primary – at 9 percent.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota registered at 6 percent in the poll, with billionaire environmental and progressive advocate and grassroots organizer Tom Steyer at 5 percent. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii each were at 3 percent and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang was at 2 percent. Everyone else tested in the survey stood at 1 percent or less.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg shaking hands with supporters at a rally in front of the New Hampshire Statehouse on Oct. 30 in Concord, N.H.
The 37-year old Buttigieg – the youngest candidate in the large field of White House hopefuls – was once seen as the longest of long-shots for the nomination, but he surged in the spring to middle-tier status and he’s soared this autumn to reach the top-tier of contenders. He’s skyrocketed 15 percentage points since the previous Saint Anselm College poll, which was conducted in September.
Warren’s plunged 10 points since the previous poll, with Biden nose-diving 9 points.
“With less than three months before the primary, the race for New Hampshire’s Democratic delegates is still in a great deal of flux,” New Hampshire Institute of Politics Executive Director Neil Levesque highlighted.
He’s not kidding. A Quinnipiac University Poll in New Hampshire conducted earlier this month indicated Biden at 20 percent, with Warren at 16 percent, Buttigieg at 15 percent and Sanders at 14 percent. And, a University of New Hampshire-CNN poll conducted late last month showed Sanders at 21 percent, Warren at 18 percent, Biden at 15 percent and Buttigieg at 10 percent.
Levesque emphasized that in the Saint Anselm poll, “Buttigieg’s bump is driven by the favorable impression he’s made on voters, with 76 percent having a favorable impression of him versus only 11 percent unfavorable.”
Buttigieg’s net favorability of 65 percent easily bested his top rivals for the nomination.
But, the reputation of New Hampshire voters as late deciders was reflected in the survey. Thirteen percent said they remained undecided and of those who were backing a candidate, only 36 percent said they were firm in their choices. If voters do change their minds, Warren may benefit. She topped the list for second choice, at 23 percent.
The poll’s release came with two and a half months until the Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential nominating calendar, followed eight days later by the New Hampshire primary.
A Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom poll released this past Saturday indicated Buttigieg at 25 percent among likely Iowa Democratic presidential caucus-goers, with Warren at 16 percent, and Biden and Sanders at 15 percent. A Monmouth University survey also conducted earlier this month showed Buttigieg with a single-digit advantage over his top rivals in the Hawkeye State.
The Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll was conducted November 13-18, with 255 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling of error was plus or minus 6.1 percentage points.
The poll’s release came days after former Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., jumped into the presidential nomination race. He stood at less than 1 percent support in the New Hampshire primary.
The poll also indicated over three-quarters of those questioned said they would discourage former New York City mayor and billionaire business and media mogul Mike Bloomberg from launching a bid. Ninety-one percent said they would discourage 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from running again. But, more than four in ten said they would encourage former first lady Michelle Obama to run.