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Pete Buttigieg Rises to Third in National Presidential Poll

Biden Sanders Buttigieg

The gay mayor had the support of 17 percent of respondents, narrowly trailing Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Pete Buttigieg has risen to third place in a new national poll on Democratic presidential contenders.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to announce his presidential campaign next week, came in first in the Change Research poll of more than 2,500 likely Democratic primary voters, with the support of 21 percent. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont had 20 percent, while Buttigieg, a gay man who is mayor of South Bend, Ind., had 17 percent.

Buttigieg has placed high in voter polls in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, but this is a notable result in a nationwide poll. He had only 2 percent support in Change Research's previous poll, conducted in March. "These results represent a dramatic rise in popularity for Buttigieg," Change Research officials wrote in a Thursday post on Medium. The mayor formally announced his presidential campaign this month, after having formed an exploratory committee in January.

However, while Buttigieg brings diversity to the top tier of candidates because he's gay, the four leading contenders are all cisgender white men - Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, who was supported by 9 percent of respondents. Women and people of color occupied all the lower slots in the poll.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts had the support of 8 percent; U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California had 7 percent; and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia state legislator and gubernatorial candidate, each had 4 percent. Tied at 2 percent were U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and businessman Andrew Yang.

The latest poll also represented a 15-percentage-point drop for Biden from the March poll, in which he was preferred by 36 percent of respondents. Sanders had 24 percent support in the previous poll.

The survey additionally found that while most respondents were satisfied with their health insurance, they do support a national, government-run plan that's been dubbed "Medicare for all." Eighty-two percent said they considered their health insurance acceptable or better, but 84 percent favored Medicare for all.

The poll was conducted last Friday through Monday among 2,518 likely 2020 Democratic primary voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

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