Biden Stays In First, Harris Moves To Third In First Post Debate Poll

In the first poll done after the Democratic debate, Joe Biden remains in first, Bernie Sanders is second, and Harris has moved into a tie for third with Warren.

Biden stays in first as Harris gets a debate bump

According to The Morning Consult special post-debate report:

– Twelve percent of Democratic primary voters said Harris was their first choice for president. It’s an increase of 6 percentage points from the June 17-23 poll, doubling the senator’s vote share. That vaults her past South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana and into a third-place tie with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

– Harris’ big night in Miami came largely at the expense of the race’s front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden’s support dropped by 5 points, although he remained the first choice for 33 percent of Democratic primary voters.

– Thursday’s debate also brought middling returns for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who did not lose any first-choice support (at 19 percent) but was the only high-profile candidate to experience a measurable drop in favorability.

– Sixty-seven percent of Democratic primary voters in the latest poll said they had a favorable view of Sanders, down 7 points from the previous survey. While some of the other more well-known candidates such as Biden and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas saw their favorability decline, those dips were inside the poll’s 5-point margin of error on that question.

The poll results are exactly what I predicted in my Facebook post-debate analysis:

Biden’s drop is within the poll’s margin of error, but he has the biggest core of unmoveable support in the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders has the second biggest base but has flatlined to his core support of 19%. Elizabeth Warren has settled into third, along with Harris, and Buttigieg is also showing a lack of momentum in fourth.

There is a clear pattern emerging. Any candidate outside of Biden or Sanders who gets a burst of national attention sees a short-term bump, which is great for fundraising. Elizabeth Warren was able to sustain her bump, but Harris has yet to do so.

Debates this early in the process don’t mean a lot outside of candidate recognition and fundraising, but they are demonstrating that Biden and Sanders have the largest cores of support, and it will take a sustained surge for any of the other candidates to pass them.

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