Caucus-goers prepare their preferences ahead of the Iowa caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa – ABC 57 News has been on the ground in Iowa days before the caucuses as voters decide their preferences. 

ABC 57’s Brian Conybeare, Karla Rodriguez and Tiffany Salameh have been in Iowa to gather the latest information as candidates are preparing for those results on Monday.

Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden have had the state to themselves during the week leading into the caucuses as Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar were in Washington for the impeachment trial.

The advantage may allow undecided voters to connect more with Biden and Buttigieg with the caucuses right around the corner.

In Iowa, things stack up differently with caucus-goers able to name both their first and second choice candidates.

The New York Times and Siena College poll shows Bernie Sanders as the number one candidate this week with 25% naming him as their first choice.

Pete Buttigieg comes at 18% with Biden at 17%, Warren at 15% and Klobuchar at 8%.

For the second choice of caucus-goers, Warren tops the poll at 20%, with Sanders and Biden tied at 14%.

Buttigieg comes in at the very bottom for the second choice at 10%, just below Klobuchar at 12%, with Buttigieg losing traction from earlier

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein said that Iowa and New Hampshire will likely determine whether Buttigieg stays in the top tier of candidates, because he is not expected to do as well in Nevada and South Carolina.

This is due to the existence of more minority voters in the states which is a key constituency that Buttigieg has been struggling to connect with in recent months.

“He was surging in the polls a few months ago. His slipping now is happening at an inopportune time,” Klein said. “He has the fortunate position of being one of the few candidates, in addition to Joe Biden, that’s actually campaigned in Iowa because he doesn’t have to be back in the U.S. Senate like some of his rivals but it is going to be a make or break couple days for Pete Buttigieg who recognizes Iowa has to be a big breakthrough for him.”

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