Just weeks before voters caucus in Iowa, Bernie Sanders has gained a slight edge in the close race for the Democratic presidential nomination there, with the state's most-watched poll showing him supported by 20% of likely voters, at the front of the pack but with several rivals close behind.
Finishing among the top three in Iowa has been crucial for candidates in past presidential elections, with those who fail to do so often finding their campaigns ending before voters in New Hampshire head to the polls for the second nominating contest. NY entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who was the sole nonwhite candidate on the stage at last month's debate, in Los Angeles, also fell short for this round, with support from 5% of Iowa voters in the new poll. Elizabeth Warren, who has the support of 17% of likely Democratic caucus-goers. Booker, after campaigning aggressively in Iowa for almost a year, has support of just 3% of likely caucus-goers, according to the poll.
But Biden regains a sharp advantage in the 35 to 49 age group (41%-16%), and among voters older than 65 there is no contest: Biden enjoys 68% popularity, with second-placed Sanders floundering at 8%.
US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and entrepreneur Tom Steyer each polled at 2 per cent, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped from 2 per cent to 1 per cent. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen.
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.
"If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field", Messina said, "I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders".
The statements came after Sanders condemned the airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.
The seventh Democratic primary debate is scheduled for next week and is set to be followed by three more debates in February.
Only 40 per cent of poll respondents said they had finalized their choice, with 45 per cent saying they could still change their mind.
"If the DNC had only done due diligence and commissioned polls in the early states, Andrew Yang would certainly be on the scene for debate next week", said Yang's campaign manager Nick Ryan, in an email to supporters, according to the Hill. The top candidates will meet for a debate in Des Moines on Tuesday night.