This Iowa-based poll shows Elizabeth Warren jumping out to a commanding lead among Iowa caucus goers:
Elizabeth Warren’s early investment in Iowa is paying off.
A new Iowa Starting Line-Change Research poll shows the senator opening up a commanding lead in the Iowa Caucus. Warren was the top pick of 28% of likely Iowa Caucus-goers in the poll, an 11-point lead over the nearest competitor. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were both tied for second with 17% each. Pete Buttigieg came in fourth at 13% and Kamala Harris has the backing of 8%.
The Iowa caucuses are five and a half months away, so we shouldn’t get too excited about early polls. Still, this one shows Warren with a 16-point jump from her support in May, while Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both down 7 percent since May.
This doesn’t strike me as surprising. Early campaign polls are largely tests of name recognition, and Biden and Sanders are very familiar to Democratic voters. But I am pretty sure that Democratic caucus-goers aren’t really hoping to nominate an elderly white man.
Why has Warren jumped in this poll? She is spending a lot of time in Iowa, and voters in early primary and caucus states like to be courted. Beyond that, Warren has some advantages over the rest of the field. For one thing, she isn’t stupid. That distinguishes her from a number of her competitors, most notably Slow Joe Biden. For another, she is a far-left true believer. She would have made a good wife for, say, Vladimir Lenin. Democrats like that quality these days–or the small minority who go to caucuses do, anyway.
Some people think Warren is a serious threat to President Trump. I have a friend who believes that Warren can match Trump when it comes to economic populism, moderate her views on immigration enough to fool some voters, and cruise to victory with the help of the press. Maybe. But Warren makes Hillary Clinton seem warm and huggable. She might have made a good wife for Lenin, but for the rest of us? Not so much. I think she is a lot more formidable as a Democratic Party primary candidate than as a general election contender.
One more comment: Amy Klobuchar sits at 2 percent in this Iowa poll, tied with Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, and Steve Bullock. Klobuchar hails from next-door Minnesota, and her name must long have been well known to Iowa Democrats–unlike, say, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke, all of whom currently outpoll her. Tim Pawlenty ended his 2012 presidential bid in August 2011, when he finished third not in the caucuses, but in the Iowa straw poll. As a popular former two-term governor of next-door Minnesota, Pawlenty needed to do better. Amy Klobuchar needs to do a heck of a lot better than her current standing with Iowa caucus-goers, or her presidential bid will be over.