The Iowa-or-bust approach of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's presidential campaign appears to be paying off, somewhat.
A poll released by Emerson Polling shows Bullock at sixth among Iowa Democratic caucus voters, outperforming candidates who outpace him in national polls like U.S. Sens. Sen. Kamala Harris, of California; Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota; Corey Booker, of New Jersey; and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, of Texas, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, among others.
Bullock, who announced his long-shot candidacy for president in May, is in a crowded field of primary contestants. His national poling performance has been around 0-1% and he's only appeared in one of the Democratic National Committee debates, having failed to either meet a polling threshhold or capture enough donors to take part in the others.
So instead he's hit the pavement in Iowa, making 13 trips to the state since May. In August, Bullock told Lee Newspapers he was focusing on Iowa as much as possible, given his struggle to get traction nationally. He pointed to past presidential hopefuls who were lagging across the country but found their footing in Iowa just before the caucus.
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“You look at it, Barack Obama was, it was probably late October, November, maybe even December, before he hit in Iowa. John Kerry wasn’t until December. It’s always been the case where a large field gets winnowed down by the early states. And while the debate rules sort of throw a curve ball into that, traditionally that’s always been the case where those folks (in Iowa) take this very seriously,” Bullock said then.
The poll puts Bullock at 4%. He's behind former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, who are locked at 23%. Also in front of the governor are South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at 16%; U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, with 13%, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, 5%.
However, the poll has a 5.5 plus-or-minus margin of error. It was conducted Oct. 13-16 and sampled 317 registered voters.