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Joe Biden tops new Iowa poll, with three candidates in virtual second-place tie

A new poll of Iowa caucus goers shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a strong lead.

Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg remain virtually tied behind him.

The Des Moines Register/MediaCom/CNN poll, conducted by Selzer and Co., shows Biden with a substantial lead. He’s the preference of 24 percent of respondents.

About 16 percent back Sanders, 15 percent support Warren and 14 percent pick Buttigieg. Pollsters report a 4-percent margin of error.

“We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify,” Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., told the 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.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris polled at 7 percent. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke were tied at 2 percent.

Another 16 candidates listed in polls came in below 2 percent.

That’s an important threshold. Second round debates will require candidates to register with at least 2 percent support in three sanctioned polls.

The Selzer poll delivered especially bad news for Miromar Mayor Wayne Messam. Neither he nor New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was listed as first or second choice by any of the 600 poll respondents.

“There’s always been a question mark as to how many (candidates) can get any real traction,” Selzer said. “And we gave them every opportunity to show that they have some kind of constituency here. But there’s a fair number who, their constituency just isn’t very big.”

Results include responses from 433 likely Democratic caucus participants who were interviewed in person and another 167 virtual participants. Pollsters collected results from June 2 through 5.

Results were weighted to reflect new rules on virtual caucus participation.

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