SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTVU) - Senator Elizabeth Warren surged past Senator Bernie Sanders in the Monmouth University Iowa poll released Thursday, showing support for Democratic presidential candidates shifting among likely Iowa caucus-goers in the critical primary state.
The poll still has former Vice-President Joe Biden leading the crowded field in Iowa.
Warren's new popularity was welcome news to her supporters who set up a table at a Thursday community event in Mountain View with campaign buttons, stickers and other materials. Some said they had decided to support Warren after the last debate.
"When I saw how eloquent she was I thought man, everyobyd else, are you seeing this? And now I feel like that poll shows that people, I'm not the only wone who saw that in her," said Holly Cadena of San Jose.
The poll shos Biden with 28%, Warren with 19%, California Senator Kamala Harris at 11%, Sanders at 9%, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 8%.
Each poll holds a lot at stake. Candidates must get 2% or more support in four DNC-approved polls in order to take the stage at the next debate in September.
The poll was also a welcome boost for one candidate, entrepreneur Andrew Yang who had little name-recognition one year ago, but received 2% support in the Monmouth poll. That was enough to push him across the qualifying line for the September debate. he now becomes the 9th candidate to meet all qualifications to take a place on the stage.
Many undecided voters say the debates will be a critical factor.
"That will help because there will be questions asked and you'll see their positions on a lot of different issues," said Fernando Armenta of Mountain View
His campaign told KTVU they were thrilled by Thursday's news.
"Andrew who started in 20th place is now up to 6th place in many of these early state and national polls the momentum is palpable, it's measurable," said Steve Marchand, a Yang Campaign spokesman.
The DNC raised the bar from July's debate, saying candidates also need 130,000 individual donors from 20 states.
So far, Joe Biden, Corey Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang have met those criteria.
Closing in are Julian Castro, who has raised enough donations but still falls short in poll numbers.
Also close is Hawaii's Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard who talked with KTVU by phone on the campaign trail Thursday.
"We have blown past the 130,000 donor requirement the DNC has set and now are looking forward to making that qualification with the polling," said Gabbard.
Gabbard and the other candidates are walking a fine line to distinguish themselves in a crowded Democratic field.
"Within the Democratic party, you have the progressives versus the moderates and all these different labels that are just tearing us apart and getting in the way of actually coming together as a country," said Gabbard.
The DNC says if only ten or fewer Democrats meet the qualifications by the deadline, there will be just one debate night instead of two.