A new poll released Friday shows the race in Iowa is still anybody’s game with less than four weeks until the first-in-the-nation caucus.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders narrowly leads the pack with 20 percent, according to the new poll conducted by CNN and the Des Moines Register. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren follows behind in a close second, having garnered 17 percent, with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg earning 16 percent and former Vice President Joe Biden at 15. With a +/-3.7 percent margin of error, however, the race remains in a virtual dead heat without any clear leader.
While the poll offers no front-runner, it does provide additional insight to where voters are shifting, with good news for Sanders and warning signs for Biden.
This is the first poll this election cycle landing Sanders in the lead without sharing the first-place spot with any other candidate, and it shows a clear upswing for the Vermont senator with momentum at a critical time in the race.
The poll also indicates signs of trouble for Biden, whose support in the state appears to be stagnating with a fourth-place finish.
RealClearPolitics’ latest aggregate of polls depicts a similar portrait of the race as the new CNN/Des Moines Register poll.
According to the RealClearPolitics aggregate, Sanders is essentially tied with Buttigieg for first place, with each holding onto 21 percent support. Biden and Warren are coming in behind at third and fourth place, carrying 17 percent each.
Voters in the Hawkeye State will see the candidates go head to head only one more time before they go to the caucuses to make their final decision. The next and final debate before the Feb. 3 caucus day will be held Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Drake University in Des Moines, hosted and moderated by CNN and the Des Moines Register.
While 13 candidates remain in the race after Marianne Williamson dropped out Friday, only six candidates met the Democratic National Committee’s qualifying threshold to appear on stage.
Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren, Biden, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and billionaire Tom Steyer, who just Thursday made it over the finish line for a podium, will face each other in the primetime event next week.
The new CNN/Des Moines Register poll was conducted Jan. 2-8 and surveyed 701 likely Democratic caucus-goers using telephone interviews.