Election 2020 Debate

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, left, talks with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio.

Less than three months until Iowa's first-in the nation caucuses, and the state has become the primary focal point of Democratic candidates looking for early momentum in their race to take on President Donald Trump.

Aspiring candidates have visited the state more than 800 times since July. With about 13 weeks until the Feb. 3 caucuses, voters can expect hundreds of more appearances.

Still leading national polls, former Vice President Joe Biden has slipped to fourth in Iowa in the New York Times/Siena College poll released Friday.

The poll shows U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts leading the state with 22 percent support. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is second with 19 percent. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is third with 18 percent support, then Biden at 17 percent.

"Iowa is where Pete Buttigieg, still a single-digit candidate nationally, is surging, where Elizabeth Warren has overtaken Joe Biden and where the former vice president – still leading nationally – is at risk of getting cut down," Politico's David Siders wrote in an analysis published Tuesday. "And it is serving as the fulcrum for a host of other candidates – among them Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris – who hope to leverage their performance across the state’s 99 counties into relevance in the states that follow."

Biden doesn't seem too worried about polling in Iowa.

“I think we’re the only ones who don’t have to win Iowa, honestly, because our strength is the fact that we have a broad and diverse coalition,” Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz told The Wall Street Journal.

Three polls released Sunday still show Biden leading nationally, followed closely by Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg at a distant fourth.

A Fox News poll has Biden with the largest lead of the three with 31 percent support. Warren polled at 21 percent, Sanders at 19 percent and Buttigieg at 7 percent.

Separate polls by the Washington Post/ABC News and Wall Street Journal/NBC News had Biden with 27 percent support nationally.

The Washington Post/ABC News had Warren with 21 percent support, Sanders at 19 percent and Buttigieg at 7 percent.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll had Warren with 23 percent; Sanders with 19 percent and Buttigieg with 6 percent.

All other candidates were in the low single digits in all three polls.

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at dmccaleb@thecentersquare.com.

Executive Editor

Dan McCaleb is a veteran editor and has worked in journalism for more than 25 years. Most recently, McCaleb served as editorial director of Shaw Media and the top editor of the award-winning Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago.