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Buttigieg surges into lead in Iowa poll; Gabbard polls at 3%

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Pete Buttigieg waves during a presidential forum at the California Democratic Party’s convention today in Long Beach, Calif.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Pete Buttigieg waves during a presidential forum at the California Democratic Party’s convention today in Long Beach, Calif.

Pete Buttigieg has surged into the lead in Iowa, surpassing Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren by a large margin in the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest, according to an influential poll released today.

Buttigieg has the support of 25% of likely participants in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, up 16 percentage points from September, the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll showed. Warren, Biden and Bernie Sanders were in a statistical tie for second place. Warren had 16%, down 6 points from September. Biden and Sanders came in at 15%.

Amy Klobuchar polled at 6%, while Cory Booker and Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang polled at 3%. All other candidates polled at 1% or less.

Buttigieg’s rise comes after a solid performance earlier this month at the Liberty and Justice Dinner in Des Moines, where he had one of the largest groups of supporters in the crowd. He has one of the biggest staffs in Iowa, with more than 100 organizers.

The poll was “extremely encouraging,” Buttigieg said in Long Beach, California, where he attended a state Democratic Party forum. There’s still work to be done “to consolidate our gains and to make sure that I am earning every vote as we head into the caucuses and the primary,” he said.

The poll of 500 likely Democratic caucus goers has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points and was conducted by Selzer & Co. from Nov. 8-13.

Harris Wins Backing of United Farm Workers (12:29 p.m.)

The United Farm Workers is endorsing Senator Kamala Harris, a move that could help boost the California Democrat’s struggling campaign for president.

The labor group announced the decision today at the California Democratic Party’s endorsing convention in Long Beach, citing Harris’ long history working with the organization and her “bold leadership on immigrant rights.”

The endorsement comes as Harris is in single digits in the polls and as the campaign cuts spending and redeploys staff to focus on Iowa, which holds the first-in-the-nation nominating caucus Feb. 3.

The United Farm Workers began in Harris’ home state of California and seeks to improve conditions for farm workers, immigrant workers and Latinos. The group, founded by Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Gilbert Padilla and other organizers in 1962, has an estimated 50,000 members across the U.S., though its roots are deepest in California.

The labor group’s president, Teresa Romero, cited Harris’ efforts to secure overtime pay for farm workers, her support for immigrant rights and her participation in UFW demonstrations, in an emailed statement. — Jennifer Dlouhy

COMING UP

The major Democratic candidates — including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg — are scheduled to appear Sunday at the Nevada Democratic Party’s First in the West dinner, a major event that previously has drawn thousands to hear from presidential hopefuls.

Ten candidates have qualified for the fifth Democratic debate, on Nov. 20 in Atlanta: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer.

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