A series of polls conducted following the fifth Democratic debate in Atlanta last week show South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg continuing his dramatic rise while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren begins to lose her momentum. Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the crowded field’s clear frontrunner with a commanding lead.
Prior to the primetime event, Buttigieg was surging in Iowa, eclipsing Warren in the first-in-the-nation caucus state to frontrunner status already showing problematic signs for the liberal senator going into Wednesday night.
For the first time, Buttigieg felt the heat of a frontrunner during a national debate while candidates launched attacks at the minor-city mayor in attempts to topple his Iowa poll numbers. The Indiana mayor held his own however, and broke into the double-digits in Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of polls after a strong performance on stage leading to a spike in support.
Buttigieg now enjoys 10.5 percent support in the Real Clear national aggregate, and came in second place for the first time in a post-debate Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday. According to Qunnipiac, Buttigieg comes in with 16 percent support, behind Biden at 24 percent, but ahead of Warren at 14, and Sanders at 13, though his support ahead of the two progressive senators is within the poll’s 3.2 percent margin of error.
While Biden maintains his lead and Sanders emerged from the Georgia debate unscathed, Warren has suffered a continual dip in support as she struggles to articulate details on how to pay for items on her socialist wish-list, most prominently her plan to pay for her signature proposal in the race, “Medicare for All.”
Warren released a plan at the beginning of the month to fund her single-payer health care policy after being pressed on the issue in October’s debate. Warren claims she can fund the prohibitively expensive program without raising middle class taxes, though scores of experts agree that the math simply doesn’t add up, showing her proposal to fund socialist medicine without spiking taxes on the middle class to be nothing more than a fairytale.
Medicare for All, according to the Quinnipiac poll released this week, has also polled to be very unpopular among moderates, contributing to her collapse in support among this key group that was once bolstering the Massachusetts senator’s rise earlier this year.
Warren is now even falling behind Sanders in the Real Clear Aggregate of national polls, a sharp decline from where she was just two months ago when she briefly eclipsed Biden’s level of support.
Now, Biden leads the field of 18 candidates with just more than 28 percent support. Sanders comes ten points behind with nearly 18 percent, Warren at just less than 17 percent, and Buttigieg at 10.5.