- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 9, 2019

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke emerged as the biggest loser in the Iowa Poll released Sunday as his support plummeted, but he insisted that he’s not worried.

“These polls this far out I really don’t think describe the full picture,” Mr. O’Rourke said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’ve got a lot of time, a lot of work, but thankfully we have a number of extraordinary volunteers who are going to make this possible.”

To nobody’s surprise, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden led the packed Democratic primary field as 24 percent of Iowa voters surveyed identifying him as their first choice, according to the DesMoinesRegister/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll.

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At the same time, the poll found his cushion eroding: In the December poll, before his official announcement, Mr. Biden led with 32 percent.

In second place was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 16 percent, a slight dip from the 19 percent he held in December. That was no surprise: Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders are one-two in most if not all polls of Democrats vying to take on President Trump in 2020.

While he continues to trail Mr. Biden, Mr. Sanders said he had an “excellent chance” of winning the Iowa caucuses. In 2016, Mr. Sanders placed a very close second to eventual Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, taking 49.6 percent to her 49.8 percent.

“Four years ago, there were only two of us in the race and we split the vote about 50 percent each,” Mr. Sanders told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This time we have a whole lot of candidates, and I don’t think anybody’s going to reach 50 percent.”

The biggest winners: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Ms. Warren leapfrogged Mr. O’Rourke for third place with 15 percent, nearly doubling her 8 percent showing in December. Right behind her was Mayor Pete, who barely registered in the previous poll but placed fourth with 14 percent in the latest results.

California Sen. Kamala Harris followed them with 7 percent, a slight increase from her 5 percent in December, once again placing fifth.

“We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer in the Des Moines Register. “There’s a lot more commitment than we normally see this early. And some of these candidates who’ve been under the radar start to surface and compete with Joe Biden.”

Only five of the 23 candidates in the poll drew more than 5 percent support.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was tied with Mr. O’Rourke at 2 percent, followed by seven candidates with 1 percent and nine candidates with less than 1 percent—including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Also registering below 1 percent were Reps. Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan and Eric Swalwell.

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