A new survey of Iowa voters published Tuesday shows considerable movement among the Democratic primary candidates. One of the most surprising developments is the decline of Vermont senator Bernie "Velcro" Sanders (9 percent), who has fallen out of third place after being overtaken by South Bend mayor Pete "Boat Shoes" Buttigieg (12 percent).
Former vice president Joe Biden continues to lead the field at 25 percent, according to the poll conducted by Focus on Rural America. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is a close second at 23 percent.
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The result comes days after the Working Families Party, a labor-aligned progressive group that backed Sanders in 2016, officially endorsed Warren—the latest indication that Warren is succeeding in her effort to become the left's preferred alternative to Biden. What had seemed like a contentious three-way race for the nomination could instead be turning into a head-to-head contest with Bernie watching from the sidelines.
New Iowa Focus on Rural America poll: big gain for Biden. Warren, Klobuchar up. Harris plummets. @JoeBiden: 25% +8@ewarren: 23% +3@PeteButtigieg: 12% + 2@BernieSanders: 9% -3 @amyklobuchar: 8% + 4@KamalaHarris: 5% – 13@TomSteyer: 3% @CoryBooker: 2%@AndrewYang: 2%
— Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) September 18, 2019
Another notable, if not entirely shocking, development is the precipitous fall of Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), who has declined 13 percentage points in the poll since July when she emphatically declared herself a "top-tier candidate" while mocking her low-polling rivals. Harris (5 percent) has been overtaken by Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar (8 percent), and is only 2 percentage points ahead of Tom Steyer, the billionaire impeachment-monger.
Harris's struggles are not confined to Iowa. A recent poll of her home state of California found her receiving just 6 percent of the vote, good enough for fifth place behind tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.