Pete Buttigieg Surges in New Iowa Poll

Throughout Pete Buttigieg’s time as a 2020 Democrat, he’s run what is arguably a fairweather campaign. Although not at the complete bottom of the pack, Buttigieg maintained a modest standing amongst his rivals who also aim to become president. During primary debates, the South Bend mayor answers questions and occasionally goes back-and-forth with in-party rivals who support policies that differ from his own.

Mayor Pete at Roosevelt High School by Phil Roeder, on Flickr

Mayor Pete at Roosevelt High School” (CC BY 2.0) by Phil Roeder

Over the past few weeks, Buttigieg’s made some gains in the polls, particularly ones surveying popularity and caucus attendees. According to a CNN/Des Moines Register poll, Buttigieg’s popularity surged by 16% amongst individuals who will most likely attend the upcoming Iowa caucus. Now at 25% in this latest poll, Buttigieg is beating out Biden, Warren, Sanders, and other candidates which many Americans would perceive as ahead of Buttigieg.

The Des Moines Register even coined the 2020 Democrat as a “clear frontrunner.”

What Caused Buttigieg’s Rise?

As a 2020 presidential candidate, Buttigieg has taken some positions which may appear less extreme than those of his in-party, uber-progressive rivals. Earlier this year, the South Bend mayor sparred with Cory Booker and now-former candidate Beto O’Rourke over mandatory gun buybacks.

While Booker and O’Rourke expressed interest in such a program, Buttigieg censured mandatory buybacks as gun confiscations; this would later cause Booker to accuse the South Bend mayor of “doing the NRA’s work.” Buttigieg has, however, called for voluntary buyback programs.

In the weeks leading up to the CNN/Des Moines Register poll, Buttigieg sparred with Warren over Medicare-for-All. In interviews and at the fourth Democrat debate, the South Bend mayor accused Warren of failing to be honest with Americans on her plan for funding socialized healthcare. Buttigieg himself has pushed for a “Medicare For All Who Want It” plan.

Impeachment is another area where this particular 2020 Democrat wavers from those within his party. Buttigieg supports the inquiry, yet also maintains that a “thumping defeat” of Trump in 2020 is preferable to impeaching him.

Will it Last?

Buttigieg’s clashes with various progressive candidates in the 2020 field have clearly contributed to the surge Americans are seeing; whether or not that surge will last ultimately remains to be seen. At the end of the day, there are a variety of factors which impact how candidates’ presidential campaigns play out.

Pete Buttigieg in Sparks Nevada by Trevor Bexon, on Flickr

Pete Buttigieg in Sparks Nevada” (CC BY 2.0) by Trevor Bexon

The South Bend Mayor’s rise in the polls comes with the fall of other candidates. Biden has slipped considerably, while additional data from the Des Moines Register shows that many likely caucusgoers view Sanders’ policies as “too liberal.” Warren herself has also taken various hits in the wake of negative press surrounding Medicare-for-All and her lack of truthfulness about how to fund it.


What do you think about Pete Buttigieg’s surge in the CNN/Des Moines Register poll? Will it last for very long? Let us know in the comments section below!