The little-known mayor of South Bend, Indiana has made quite an impression on voters in Iowa where his support surged to double-digits according to a new Emerson poll published Sunday.
Pete Buttigieg, who is the youngest candidate in the race at 37, placed third behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in a poll conducted between March 21 and March 24.
In January, the same poll found Buttigieg’s support in Iowa at zero.
Biden led the poll at 25 percent while Sanders was a close second at 24 percent.
California Sen. Kamala Harris was the only other candidate to garner double digits, polling at 10 percent.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren received 9 percent, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker received 6 percent, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke received 5 percent, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar received 2 percent.
Buttigieg is a candidate to watch:
"We’ve seen growing interest," Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price told NBC News. "Iowa caucus-goers and Iowa Democrats are interested in what he has to say and want to hear more."
It’s also playing well in South Carolina, which is the third state in the primary schedule next year.
"There are definitely some folks who are talking about him," former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison said. "He’s an extremely gifted politician and he’s very genuine. I think what everybody else is seeing is what I saw when we were head to head. ...I would not dismiss Pete at all."
"He is so compelling as a thinker that people are kind of shocked by it," added Republican strategist Rick Wilson.