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Buttigieg Overtakes Biden in New Poll of New Hampshire

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a rally to announce his 2020 Democratic presidential candidacy in South Bend, Ind., April 14, 2019. (John Gress/Reuters)

South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg continued his recent surge in primary polling by overtaking former vice president Joe Biden in the latest WBUR New Hampshire poll.

Buttigieg, who last month surged in polls to become the frontrunner in Iowa, comes in at 18 percent, followed by Biden at 17 percent and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders at 15 percent. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has slipped in recent weeks, rounds out the top tier with 12 percent.

“What’s remarkable about this is how close it remains,” Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group — which conducted the WBUR poll — said in the release. “We’ve got three candidates, all within three points of each other — and Elizabeth Warren not that far behind, right there in that top tier. Basically, [this is] a race that could go in any direction.”

A breakdown of the numbers showed a generational divide between the moderate and more-progressive candidates, as Buttigieg and Biden received the highest percentages among middle-aged and older voters, while Sanders and Warren did well among younger demographics.

Biden received 32 percent of the over-60 vote but managed a mere 3 percent with voters in the 18–29 range. Sanders, on the other hand, received 28 percent of the youngest age group’s vote, but only 6 percent of those above 60.

Buttigieg was largely steady across all demographics, polling no lower than 16 percent, with a high of 22 percent with voters from ages 45 to 59. The former Rhodes scholar also received the highest percentage of college-educated and advance-degree voters.

While Buttigieg has demonstrated strong numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire, he lags behind in South Carolina, where a November Quinnipiac University poll him still at zero percent among black voters, despite the campaign’s release of its comprehensive “Douglass Plan,” which details policies designed to address racial inequality.

The Buttigieg campaign has come under fire for its marketing of the Douglass plan, which Buttigieg declared “the most comprehensive vision put forward by a 2020 candidate on the question of how we’re going to tackle systemic racism in this country.”

Several black leaders in South Carolina said that their consulting on the plan was spun as an endorsement of the candidate, and the campaign itself has faced criticism for using a stock photo from Kenya in promoting the plan.

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