New poll finds Biden, Warren in virtual tie in Iowa

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) lead a new poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers by a wide margin as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) fade.

The poll was conducted for Focus on Rural America, a Democratic group run by former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D) and Iowa political strategist Jeff Link. It found Biden on top among likely caucusgoers with 25 percent of the vote, virtually tied with Warren, who took 23 percent.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D) clocks in with 12 percent of the vote, finishing ahead of Sanders and Harris.

Sanders took 9 percent, while Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.), who is trying to make a charge in the neighboring state, took 8 percent.

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Harris took 5 percent, while billionaire former hedge fund manager Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE clocked in at 3 percent. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) and entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE each took 2 percent, and five candidates took 1 percent of the vote among the 500 voters surveyed.

The trend lines look good for Warren, who has grown her support in the last two Focus on Rural America polls, and Biden, who has remained steady since the group’s March 2019 poll. Buttigieg has seen his support increase in all three surveys in which his name has been included.

Sanders and Harris have seen their support plummet. In the group’s March poll, Sanders had backing from 17 percent of Iowa caucusgoers, making him Biden’s chief rival. Harris, meanwhile, surged to 18 percent in the group’s July poll, just after her strong performance in the first Democratic debates. Both have since slumped.

More voters see Warren in a positive light, 84 percent, than any other Democratic candidate. Buttigieg is seen positively by 81 percent, Biden by 76 percent and Booker by 75 percent. More voters say they are actively considering Warren, 70 percent, than any other potential candidate, suggesting she has room to grow.

Lesser-known candidates like Yang and Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockKoch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators Overnight Energy: US Park Police say ‘tear gas’ statements were ‘mistake’ | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues in battle to save seats MORE (D) have seen their positive ratings spike the most in the months since the group’s last poll, while Harris and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro have seen their positive ratings fall most dramatically.

The percentage of voters who have a negative opinion of Castro has doubled, from 14 percent in July to 29 percent now, days after Castro attacked Biden at the most recent Democratic debate. Six in 10 likely caucusgoers said they had ruled out Castro as a potential candidate, more than anyone except Yang. Eighteen percent of likely caucusgoers said they had ruled Castro out as a possibility based solely on his debate performance.

Focus on Rural America has been pushing Democratic candidates to campaign beyond Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City. Judge has toured ethanol plants with several candidates in hopes of getting them into rural settings.

“If Democrats keep showing up in rural communities and standing up for rural voters, we will win the 2020 election,” Judge said in a statement.

The poll, conducted Sept. 14–17 — entirely after the third round of Democratic debates — surveyed 500 likely caucusgoers by cellphone and landline. Conducted by David Binder Research, the same pollster who surveys for Harris’s campaign, the poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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