Buttigieg surges to 10-point lead in New Hampshire: poll

Democratic White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE surged to a 10-point lead in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, according to a new Saint Anselm College poll released Tuesday.

Buttigieg gets the support of 25 percent of self-identified likely Democratic primary voters, marking the first time the South Bend, Ind., mayor has emerged atop a poll in the Granite State. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) are tied for second at 15 percent, while no other candidate breaks double digits. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) sits in fourth place at 9 percent.

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The survey’s results show a 15-point jump for Buttigieg from the last Saint Anselm College poll released in September. The surge appears to have been fueled by drawing support from the other top contenders in the state’s primary. Biden, Warren and Sanders saw 9-point, 10-point and 2-point drops, respectively.

While Buttigieg has often polled in or near the top tier in New Hampshire primary polls, he consistently trailed Biden, Warren and Sanders before Tuesday’s survey.

The Indiana Democrat is buoyed by an overwhelmingly positive approval rating. Seventy-six percent of likely Democratic voters view him favorably, while only 11 percent have an unfavorable view of him.

However, the primary field does not appear to be set in stone with less than three months before New Hampshire voters head to the polls. Only 36 percent of likely Democratic primary voters say they are firm in their choice for president. 

Nevertheless, the poll is just the latest piece of good news for a surging Buttigieg campaign. The Indiana mayor held a 9-point lead in this week’s Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom survey, which is considered the gold standard in the Hawkeye State.

“There’s no doubt about it — as the primary cycle continues, Mayor Pete’s appeal is only growing,” Democratic strategist Lynda Tran told The Hill. “The latest poll certainly puts the wind at his back heading into Iowa.”

Buttigieg still faces obstacles, including a litany of polls showing low support from voters of color and lingering questions over electability. 

While several surveys suggest trouble may arise in Nevada and South Carolina, two states with high proportions of minority voters that will hold nominating contests shortly after whiter Iowa and New Hampshire, observers speculate that strong showings in the first two races could change voters’ minds and rejigger the race. 

And while some donors and voters continue to express skepticism that the 37-year-old mayor from Indiana can unseat Trump, Tuesday’s poll shows Buttigieg with a 7-point lead over the president in a hypothetical match-up.

The Saint Anselm College poll surveyed 255 likely Democratic primary voters from Nov. 13 to Nov. 18 and has a margin of error of 6.1 percent.

–This report was updated on Nov. 20 at 3:13 p.m.

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