South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has jumped to third in a new Iowa poll of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, putting him within a single-digit distance of frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. 

According to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY survey published Monday, 13% of likely Democratic Iowa caucus-goers support Buttigieg, while 18% back former vice president Biden and 17% are in favor of Massachusetts Senator Warren. The poll also shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in fourth place with 9% backing. Four 2020 contenders earned 3% support in Iowa, according to the survey: billionaire Tom Steyer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Kamala Harris (D-California).

Buttigieg’s surge comes after a standout performance in last week’s fourth Democratic debate, in which he called out Warren for falsely stating the cost of her Medicare-for-All plan. The South Bend mayor and former Afghanistan War veteran also gained significant attention from the media for taking more aggressive stances on military policy in the Middle East and gun reform during the debate — on the latter issue, Buttigieg told former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) he was ill-informed after O’Rourke reiterated his proposal for mandatory buybacks of firearms like AR-15s and AK-47s.


The new poll may also suggests Buttigieg has succeeded in his attempt to market himself to voters as a realistic, middle-ground alternative to moderate Biden and far-left progressive Warren, two of the most divisive 2020 Democratic candidates.

Buttigieg has also surpassed Sanders and Harrris relative to a similar Suffolk University/USA TODAY Iowa poll released in June, which showed the South Bend mayor holding just 6% support. At the time, Sanders and Harris held backing from 9% and 16% of voters, respectively.

The South Bend mayor hasn’t just seen a surge in support from likely Iowa caucus-goers recently, however — his fundraising efforts have also paid off significantly. According to Politico, Buttigieg is has raised $19.1 million in the third quarter of 2019, which puts him only behind Biden ($25 million) and Warren ($24.6 million).

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