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Bernie Sanders leads in closely watched Iowa poll

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Democratic presidential hopefuls entrepreneur Andrew Yang Mayor of South Bend Indiana Pete Buttigieg Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren former Vice President Joe Biden Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and

According to a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll, 20 percent of likely Democrats planning to vote in the caucus name Sanders as their first choice for president.

The poll, of Democrat-leaning registered voters was conducted between 2 and 8 January, and according to the Post "illuminates the contours of Biden's support among different subsets of the black electorate".

Despite what her campaign considered a wave of momentum in recent weeks, Klobuchar finished fifth with 6% support - no change from the same poll two months ago. "To the extent that New Hampshire voters could take some cues from Iowa, it's also worth keeping an eye on lower-polling candidates like Klobuchar if any of the leading contenders stumble in the earlier Iowa contest". Elizabeth Warren, who has the support of 17% of likely Democratic caucus-goers.

The issue is particularly acute for Warren and Sanders, whose backing for ambitious policies like Medicare for All has unnerved moderate Democrats anxious that Trump will caricature them as radical socialists.

Buttigieg's favorability ratings were said to have slid four points, from 72 per cent to 68 per cent, while his unfavorable ratings went up from 16 per cent to 24 per cent.

Former New City Mayor Mike Bloomberg held the second widest margin, leading Trump 47 percent to 41 percent.

"We are not going to allow the DNC to dictate who they wish to see as a candidate and deny the will of the people", he said, saying that Yang "is up and at 5% in Nevada and New Hampshire ".

"The way you defeat Trump is talk to working people in this country who are so exasperated, so exhausted of working longer hours for lower wages, so exhausted of working for 10, 11, 12 bucks an hour and not being able to afford to maintain their family with a dignity that family deserves", Sanders said on Saturday in Davenport, where campaign workers handed out "Bernie beats Trump" placards.

"No candidate will win the Democratic presidential nomination without significant support from African Americans", wrote Post columnist Jonathan Capehart in his analysis of the poll.

The seventh Democratic primary debate is scheduled for next week and is set to be followed by three more debates in February.

The poll still found room for movement among the candidates. The top candidates will meet for a debate in Des Moines on Tuesday night.

Biden, Buttigieg, Sanders and Warren have made it to the debate stage, along with businessman Tom Steyer and Minnesota Sen.

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