November 6, 2019 - Four-Way Race In Iowa Dem Presidential Caucus, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Half Of Likely Dem Caucus-Goers Might Change Their Mind Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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With less than 3 months until the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic race for president in Iowa is wide open, as the top 4 candidates are in a close contest, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University poll released today. Senator Elizabeth Warren receives 20 percent support among Iowa likely Democratic caucus- goers, with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg getting 19 percent, Sen. Bernie Sanders at 17 percent, and former Vice President Joe Biden at 15 percent.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar gets 5 percent, Sen. Kamala Harris is at 4 percent, and businessman Tom Steyer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and businessman Andrew Yang are each at 3 percent. No other candidate tops 1 percent.

Those who consider themselves "very liberal," who make up 24 percent of likely caucus-goers, are divided in their top choice with Sanders getting 32 percent and Warren at 30 percent. Those who identify as "somewhat liberal," who make up 24 percent of likely caucus-goers, are split in their top choice between Buttigieg and Warren, with Warren at 29 percent and Buttigieg at 24 percent. Among "moderates and conservatives," who constitute 50 percent of likely caucus-goers, it's a close race for the top spot between Buttigieg and Biden, with Buttigieg at 19 percent and Biden at 18 percent.

Among white likely caucus-goers with a college education, Buttigieg and Warren top the field with 24 percent and 21 percent respectively. Among white likely caucus-goers without a college education, Sanders gets 23 percent, Biden and Warren receive 19 percent each, and Buttigieg has 15 percent.

"A close race with a crowded field of frontrunners. While Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders have held top tier status in national polls for months, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg joins their ranks in the 2020 Iowa caucus. And it's a race that is up for grabs. Half of likely Democratic caucus-goers who support a candidate say they may change their minds before February 3rd," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Mary Snow.

The second choice of likely caucus-goers follows a similar pattern as the race overall, with Buttigieg at 17 percent, Warren with 16 percent, Sanders at 13 percent, and Biden getting 12 percent. However, among those who support candidates getting less than 15 percent in this poll, 22 percent say that Buttigieg would be their second choice, 21 percent say Sanders, 12 percent say Biden, and Warren gets only 6 percent.

The race remains very fluid as about half, 52 percent, of those who express a first choice say they might change their mind before the caucus, while 46 percent say their mind is made up. Sanders voters appear to be the most committed as 61 percent of Sanders voters say their mind is made up, compared to 48 percent of Biden voters, 44 percent of Warren voters, and 40 percent of Buttigieg voters.

There is excitement for the Democratic candidates, as 30 percent are extremely excited about the candidate they support, 37 percent are very excited, 29 percent are mildly excited, and 2 percent are not that excited. Sanders supporters are the most excited, as 52 percent say they are extremely excited, compared to 31 percent of Buttigieg supporters, 23 percent of Warren supporters, and 19 percent of Biden supporters.

The top candidate quality that Iowa likely Democratic caucus-goers are looking for is "someone who can win the general election" which receives 33 percent, followed by "honesty" at 25 percent, "someone who cares about people like you" at 18 percent, "good leadership skills" at 15 percent, and only 7 percent saying "experience in public office."

Likely caucus-goers who selected electability as most important are divided in their top choice in the caucus, with Biden, Buttigieg, and Warren each getting 21 percent. Buttigieg does best among those who care most about good leadership skills with 32 percent support, followed by Warren at 21 percent. Buttigieg and Sanders do best with those who say honesty is most important to them, with Sanders getting 23 percent and Buttigieg at 21 percent. Sanders dominates among those who want "someone who cares about you," winning 33 percent support.

"For Iowa caucus-goers checking the electability box as their top quality in choosing a candidate, there is no one candidate with a clear edge. Biden, Warren, and Buttigieg are tied among those ranking a 2020 win uppermost in their decision," added Snow.

The most important issue in deciding who to support is health care, say 34 percent of likely caucus- goers, followed by climate change at 24 percent, the economy at 11 percent, and foreign policy and education each receiving 8 percent.

Among likely caucus-goers who say health care is the most important issue to their choice, 26 percent support Sanders and 22 percent support Warren. Among those who say climate change is most important, 25 percent choose Warren, 24 percent pick Buttigieg, and 20 percent support Sanders.

This will be the first caucus for 21 percent of likely caucus-goers. These first time caucus-goers are split between Sanders, who gets 30 percent, and Warren, who has 24 percent. Buttigieg gets 10 percent and Biden and Yang receive 9 percent each. Among the 78 percent of likely caucus-goers who have attended previous caucuses, Buttigieg is the choice of 21 percent, while 19 percent go to Warren, 16 percent support Biden, and 14 percent go to Sanders.

Among those who supported Sanders in the 2016 Iowa caucus, the top candidates are Sanders himself with 35 percent, Warren at 23 percent, and Buttigieg with 19 percent. Among those who supported Hillary Clinton, 27 percent support Biden, 21 percent go to Buttigieg, and 18 percent are for Warren.

From October 30 - November 5, Quinnipiac University surveyed 698 Iowa likely Democratic caucus- goers with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points, including the design effect.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts gold standard surveys using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts nationwide surveys and polls in more than a dozen states on national and statewide elections, as well as public policy issues.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Email poll@quinnipiac.edu, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

1. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for president; a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS...............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY               WHITE......
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
A lot                73%    85%    71%    68%    70%    75%    75%    73%
Some                 21     12     21     24     23     20     22     22
Only a little         4      3      5      5      5      4      3      4
None at all           2      -      3      3      3      1      -      1
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  DENSITY............
                     18-49  50-64  65+    <50k   50-100 100k+  City   Suburb Rural
 
A lot                65%    76%    86%    66%    76%    81%    69%    76%    78%
Some                 25     21     12     24     21     16     22     19     20
Only a little         7      2      2      6      3      3      7      4      1
None at all           3      1      -      3      -      1      3      2      -
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
2. If the Democratic caucus were being held today, and the candidates were: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Messam, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Joe Sestak, and Tom Steyer, whom would you support? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you support Biden, Sanders, Harris, Warren, Booker, Klobuchar, Castro, Gabbard, Delaney, Buttigieg, Yang, Williamson, Messam, Bennet, Bullock, Sestak, or Steyer?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS...............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY               WHITE......
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Biden                15%     9%    14%    18%    12%    16%    13%    19%
Sanders              17     32     14     12     23     12     14     23
Harris                4      3      4      5      3      5      6      1
Warren               20     30     29     10     16     22     21     19
Booker                1      -      1      1      -      1      1      -
Klobuchar             5      2      2      8      3      7      7      3
Castro                1      -      -      1      1      1      -      -
Gabbard               3      2      1      3      5      1      3      3
Delaney               -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
Buttigieg            19     14     24     19     17     20     24     15
Yang                  3      3      3      4      5      2      2      4
Williamson            -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
Messam                -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
Bennet                1      -      -      1      -      1      -      2
Bullock               1      -      1      1      1      1      1      1
Sestak                -      -      -      1      -      1      -      -
Steyer                3      3      1      4      3      3      1      5
DK/NA                 8      1      5     12      8      8      7      6
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  DENSITY............
                     18-49  50-64  65+    <50k   50-100 100k+  City   Suburb Rural
 
Biden                 6%    22%    26%    16%    14%    15%    13%    15%    19%
Sanders              28      7      6     22     13     15     19     14     15
Harris                4      6      3      3      5      5      4      4      4
Warren               24     15     16     19     24     16     20     23     16
Booker                -      -      2      -      -      2      1      -      1
Klobuchar             1      6     12      4      7      5      4      7      7
Castro                2      -      -      2      -      -      2      -      -
Gabbard               3      3      1      3      2      3      3      1      3
Delaney               -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
Buttigieg            16     23     21     12     23     23     16     23     21
Yang                  6      2      -      5      2      4      5      2      1
Williamson            -      -      -      -      -      -      -      1      -
Messam                -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
Bennet                -      3      1      1      1      -      -      -      2
Bullock               -      1      2      1      1      1      1      2      1
Sestak                -      2      -      -      -      -      -      -      1
Steyer                1      5      2      5      1      2      4      1      3
DK/NA                 8      6      8      7      8      8      9      7      7
 
                     MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY Q3          MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE Q4
                     Win    Good                               Health Climate 
                     2020   leader Honest Cares         Econ   care   change 
 
Biden                21%    11%     9%     6%           17%    15%     8%    
Sanders              11     12     23     33            12     26     20     
Harris                3      6      2      4             2      4      3     
Warren               21     21     16     15            15     22     25     
Booker                1      -      1      -             -      -      2     
Klobuchar             9      5      3      3             2      7      6     
Castro                -      -      -      3             3      -      2     
Gabbard               1      1      5      4             8      2      1     
Delaney               -      -      -      -             -      -      -     
Buttigieg            21     32     21     12            25     15     24     
Yang                  1      -      6      8             6      -      3     
Williamson            -      -      -      1             -      -      -     
Messam                -      -      -      -             -      -      -     
Bennet                2      2      -      -             -      1      1     
Bullock               1      1      1      -             3      -      2     
Sestak                -      -      -      -             -      -      -     
Steyer                1      5      5      4             6      2      3     
DK/NA                 7      5      9      8             1      5      2    
 
                     ATTEND CAUCUS Q5     ATTENDED 2016 DEM CAUCUS....
                     First  Attended             SUPPORTED IN 2016....
                     Caucus Previous      Tot    Clinton       Sanders
 
Biden                 9%    16%           17%    27%            3%
Sanders              30     14            15      5            35
Harris                -      5             5      6             2
Warren               24     19            20     18            23
Booker                -      1             -      1             -
Klobuchar             2      6             6      8             2
Castro                4      -             -      -             -
Gabbard               1      3             3      -             4
Delaney               -      -             -      -             -
Buttigieg            10     21            20     21            19
Yang                  9      2             1      -             4
Williamson            1      -             -      -             -
Messam                -      -             -      -             -
Bennet                -      1             1      1             1
Bullock               -      1             1      3             -
Sestak                -      -             -      -             -
Steyer                1      3             3      4             4
DK/NA                10      7             7      7             3 
 
 
2a. (If candidate chosen q2) How excited are you to support [candidate chosen]; are you extremely excited, very excited, mildly excited, or not that excited?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS............................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q2.......................................
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q2.............................                                                                               
                     Tot    Biden         Sanders       Warren        Buttigieg
 
Extremely excited    30%    19%           52%           23%           31%      
Very excited         37     45            29            36            39       
Mildly excited       29     28            19            39            28       
Not that excited      2      6             -             2             1       
DK/NA                 1      1             -             -             -       
 
 
2b. (If candidate chosen q2) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the caucus?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS............................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q2.......................................
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q2.............................                                                                               
                     Tot    Biden         Sanders       Warren        Buttigieg
 
Made up              46%    48%           61%           44%           40%      
Might change         52     51            37            55            58       
DK/NA                 2      1             2             1             2       
 
 
2c. (If candidate chosen q2) Who is your second choice?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS..................................                    
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q2...................................
                                                                        Candidates w/
                                                                        less than 15%
                     Tot    Biden      Sanders    Warren     Buttigieg  support q2
 
Biden                12%     -         18%         9%        23%        12%
Sanders              13     14          -         27          6         21
Harris                6      8          3          8         10          4
Warren               16     18         39          -         28          6
Booker                2      5          -          1          3          2
Klobuchar             5     13          1          2          7          6
Castro                1      -          1          3          -          -
Gabbard               2      -          4          -          4          1
Delaney               1      -          -          2          1          1
Buttigieg            17     28          7         35          -         22
Yang                  4      1          6          6          1          7
Williamson            -      -          -          -          -          -
Messam                -      -          -          -          -          -
Bennet                1      1          -          -          2          1
Bullock               -      -          -          -          1          1
Sestak                -      1          -          -          -          -
Steyer                2      3          3          1          1          3
No first choice       8      -          -          -          -          -
DK/NA                11      9         19          7         13         14
 
 
3. Which of these is the most important candidate quality to you in deciding who to support in the Democratic caucus for president: someone who can win the general election in 2020, good leadership skills, honesty, someone who cares about people like you, or experience in public office?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS...............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY               WHITE......
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Win 2020 election    33%    36%    34%    32%    28%    37%    41%    27%
Good leadership      15     12     15     17     13     16     15     13
Honesty              25     23     27     24     30     22     21     32
Cares about people   18     23     16     16     23     13     15     17
Public office exp.    7      6      7      8      3     10      7      9
DK/NA                 3      -      1      4      3      2      2      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  DENSITY............
                     18-49  50-64  65+    <50k   50-100 100k+  City   Suburb Rural
 
Win 2020 election    25%    41%    42%    25%    37%    41%    27%    44%    37%
Good leadership      16     13     12     14     17     13     14     19     15
Honesty              29     21     23     27     23     25     28     22     21
Cares about people   23     17      8     25     11     14     20     12     16
Public office exp.    6      8      9      8      8      3      9      3      7
DK/NA                 2      -      5      1      4      3      2      1      4
 
 
4. Which of these is the most important issue to you in deciding who to support in the Democratic caucus for president: the economy, immigration, health care, taxes, climate change, education, foreign policy, or gun policy?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS...............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY               WHITE......
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Economy              11%     8%    13%    12%    16%     8%    11%     9%
Immigration           4      1      2      6      5      3      5      1
Health care          34     40     38     29     31     36     33     37
Taxes                 3      4      3      3      5      2      2      7
Climate change       24     35     23     21     24     25     26     26
Education             8      2      6     11      7      8      7      5
Foreign policy        8      5      8      9      7      9      8      9
Gun policy            4      3      3      4      3      4      4      3
DK/NA                 3      1      3      4      2      4      4      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  DENSITY............
                     18-49  50-64  65+    <50k   50-100 100k+  City   Suburb Rural
 
Economy              12%    12%     8%    12%    12%    11%    11%    12%    11%
Immigration           5      3      3      3      3      4      2      5      6
Health care          35     32     34     33     39     33     35     37     30
Taxes                 3      2      4      5      3      2      4      1      4
Climate change       25     23     27     27     24     21     23     25     26
Education             9      8      6      7      9      6      8      5      9
Foreign policy        4     14     10      8      5     13      9      7      8
Gun policy            4      5      3      3      3      5      4      5      3
DK/NA                 3      1      5      3      2      5      3      5      3
 
 
5. Have you attended any previous Iowa caucuses, or will this be your first caucus?
                     LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS-GOERS...............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY               WHITE......
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Attended previous    78%    78%    75%    80%    73%    81%    86%    73%
First caucus         21     22     24     19     26     17     14     26
DK/NA                 1      -      1      2      1      1      -      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  DENSITY............
                     18-49  50-64  65+    <50k   50-100 100k+  City   Suburb Rural
 
Attended previous    66%    87%    91%    73%    82%    82%    74%    84%    81%
First caucus         33     11      9     27     18     18     25     16     17
DK/NA                 1      2      -      -      1      -      1      -      2