Pete Buttigieg is now the leading candidate among Democratic presidential hopefuls in New Hampshire, according to a new poll conducted by Boston-based NPR station WBUR.
The South Bend, Ind., mayor garnered 18 percent support, up from 10 percent in a different poll last month. The WBUR poll had former Vice President Joe Biden close behind at 17 percent, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 15 percent and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 12 percent.
Polling last month in New Hampshire had Sanders at 21 percent and Warren at 18 percent, with Biden at 15 percent and Buttigieg at 10.
Buttigieg now leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two of the “early four” states, although Biden maintains comfortable leads in Nevada and South Carolina. The Iowa caucuses kick off the 2020 election season on Feb. 3, followed by the New Hampshire primaries eight days later. Nevada and South Carolina hold their primaries on Feb. 22 and Feb. 29, respectively.
In the WBUR survey, conducted among 442 likely Democratic voters, Buttigieg also had the second-highest favorability rating at 58 percent, trailing only Sanders at 60 percent. Biden came in at 53 percent, followed closely by Warren at 52 percent.
Among undecided voters, the WBUR poll saw Biden as the top “leaning toward” candidate at 11 percent, with Buttigieg at 7 percent and Warren at 6 percent. Sanders registered no votes.
Although the latest national poll shows Biden as the front-runner among the top-tier Democratic candidates, he is in fourth place in both Iowa and New Hampshire according to the averages among several surveys done in both states from late October to early December.
Buttigieg tops both averages at 21 percent in Iowa and 18 percent in New Hampshire. Warren and Sanders are second and third, respectively, in both states.
The WBUR poll also found that 80 percent of likely Democratic voters approve of the U.S. House of Representatives conducting the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Some 69 percent said they believe Trump should be impeached and removed from office and 66 percent said there is no new information that could change their minds, although just 42 percent said they have been following the proceedings “very closely.”
Among 365 likely Republican voters WBUR surveyed, 74 percent said they plan on voting for Trump, with 9 percent favoring Bill Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts.