New Hampshire

Buttigieg Is 2020 Democratic Field's ‘Emerging Dark Horse': Poll

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are leading the field of Democratic White House hopefuls, but Pete Buttigieg is gaining name recognition among many New Hampshire primary voters, according to a new poll

Although Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are still leading the field of Democratic White House hopefuls, a new poll shows Pete Buttigieg is an "emerging dark horse" candidate among New Hampshire primary voters.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor has nearly 11 percent support from Granite State Democrats, according to Saint Anselm College's poll. Former Vice President Biden topped the list at 23 percent support, followed by Vermont's U.S. senator at 16 percent. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, hailing from New Hampshire's neighbor to the south, came in fourth place with 9 percent. California's U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris had the fifth-most amount of support from New Hampshire Democratic primary voters with nearly 7 percent.

"The early battle in [New Hampshire] seems to be between two familiar faces that represent different wings of the Democratic Party," said Neil Levesque, New Hampshire Institute of Politics' executive director.

However, the poll found that Buttigieg is enjoying a 33 percent increase in name recognition in the Granite State, and that he even had a slight lead over Sanders in New Hampshire's Merrimack Valley area, which includes Concord, Manchester and Nashua.

"He's hit a skyrocket 33 percent increase in his favorability in just the last two months," said Levesque.

The poll also found that Biden's favorability numbers have decreased to 70 percent since February 2019, which was the last time Saint Anselm conducted a poll. Biden, who has not formally announced his candidacy for the 2020 race, has been under fire recently for how he interacts with women.

"Interestingly about Joe Biden, he ranks highest among women. He almost has a little bit of a gender gap with men," said LeVesque. "It's kind of an opposite problem of what you would think."

Meanwhile, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, New York's U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii's U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard all came in with less than 1 percent of support from New Hampshire Democratic primary voters.

"There are a few others that are barely even registering and at this point, that would seem to be a red flag for their campaigns," said LeVesque.

Polling took place between April 3 and April 8, and has an sampling error of 3.7 percent.

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