Buttigieg came in third in an Iowa caucus poll released Sunday, with 11 percent of respondents to an
Emerson Polling survey
saying that they wanted the Mayor of South Bend, Ind., to be their Democratic presidential candidate in 2020.
"The biggest surprise in this poll is Mayor Pete," Emerson Polling Director Spencer Kimball
, per The Hill. "If Buttigieg is able to maintain his momentum, his candidacy appears to be pulling from the same demographic of young voters as Sanders, and that could become a problem for Sanders."
Former Vice Pres. Joe Biden came in first (25 percent) in the poll of 249 Democratic caucus voters, despite not having declared his candidacy, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (24 percent). Senator Kamala Harris of California came in just behind Buttigieg (10 percent), followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (9 percent), Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey (6 percent), and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke (5 percent).
The news contradicts polling knowledge from years past that said that Americans simply weren't ready for an openly gay presidential candidate. Gayness was found to be more of a liability for politicians than an asset, the Pew Research Center
in 2016, with 26 percent of respondents saying that they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate if that candidate were gay or lesbian.
But Democratic voters certainly seem to be ready for
openly gay presidential candidate. Though Buttigieg is still in the exploratory phase and has yet to officially declare his campaign, he recently received more than $600,000 in donations from over 65,000 donors, clearing the threshold to
for the Democratic National Committee's primary debate in June.