Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to the media in the spin room after the first night of the Democratic presidential debate

Elizabeth Warren Takes The Lead In Iowa

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In news that sure to make a lot of folks very nervous or very happy, Elizabeth Warren leads in the polls in Iowa for the first time. According to a the newest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, Warren now leads the crowded pack with 22% of likely democratic caucus voters saying they support her, ahead of Joe Biden at 20% and Bernie Sanders in a distant third at 11%. The rest of the field failed to make it into double digits.

This is big news for Warren, whose campaign has slowly been gaining steam as she wins over voters one plan an selfie at a time. She still lags behind Biden and Sanders in national polls, but she’s also shown steady progress and her buzz is growing. One important factor out of the Iowa poll is that more people are considering her than any other candidate – 71% of likely caucus participants. Warren also has the highest favorability ratings in the poll, with 75% of reporting that they view her favorably. Favorability doesn’t necessarily translate to votes however, as the next highest rating for favorability was Pete Buttigieg, who did not break double digits in terms of those actually planning on voting for him.

Warren has a long road to the nomination, but her star is rising as other candidates falter and fall to the wayside. After the Iowa caucuses is the New Hampshire primary, where Warren trails Sander and Biden in most polls. However, most of these contest remain competitive among the candidates, and the situation is sure to change as we get closer to actual voting. Based on the Iowa polls, Warren is a strong second for many voters, so she may pick up support as other candidates drop out, or continue to whittle away an Biden and Sanders.

That field certainly does need to thin, and it likely will, given that several candidates polled at 1%: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former U.S. housing secretary Julián Castro and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland. Marianne Williamson and Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado were below 1% in the poll, and three candidates didn’t have a single person name them at all: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – who has already ended his run, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio; and former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania. We’re not really surprised because we don’t know who those last two guys are either.

Warren’s continued rise should (but won’t) ease concerns regarding her “electability.” Many of the polled constituents in Iowa stated that they thing a bolder candidate that represents a new generation is more electable against Trump, which is a qualifier that could apply to both Sanders and Warren. As the race heats up, we’ll continue to keep an eye out.

(via MSN News, Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.