The only notable movement following the first Democratic debate was that of Bernie Sanders, who improved five points in the CNN/ORC poll which came out on Monday. Other than that, Hillary Clinton’s lead remained the same and the rest of the field sits down in the low single digits.

Report from CBS News:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s strong performance in the first Democratic debate earlier this month did not help boost her poll numbers, though she remains in first place for the Democratic nomination in a new CNN/ORC poll out Monday.

Clinton remains in the lead with 45 percent support among Democrats, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received 29 percent support. Vice President Joe Biden, who is still weighing a presidential bid, received 18 percent support. One percent of Democratic voters picked former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Harvard professor Larry Lessig each received less than 1 percent support.

Sanders was the only candidate to see a significant change in his support, which is up five points since mid-September. Clinton didn’t see a significant change despite the fact that more than six in 10 Democrats who watched the debate said she did the best job (just 35 percent said the same of Sanders).

That might be the case because Democrats who watched the debate were more likely to view Sanders and Biden favorably. While Sanders is viewed favorably by 62 percent of Democrats, among Democrats who watched the debate, that number jumped to 84 percent. Biden is popular among 76 percent of all Democrats but scored 89 percent in favorability among debate watchers. Clinton’s support is roughly the same in both groups.

Sixty-one percent of those who watched the debate say Biden should stay out of the 2016 presidential race. [Emphasis added]

I highlighted the last line because it concerns the decision Joe Biden may be making in the coming days, whether to join the Democratic field or remain on the sidelines. From this poll, it appears there is a ceiling he’ll hit with Democrats who seem satisfied with the current field. On the other hand, the media is cheering hard for Biden to enter the race and make it into a story that will receive higher ratings over the next several months.

The signfigant polling movement will happen if Biden decides to enter the race. If that is the case, the next Democratic debate, coming up on November 14, will have more far interest than the last one.


  1. Its incredible that agencies are not reporting that more people who responded to the survey of who improved/won during/after the debate did not watch the debate.

    • Really? Incredible? Considering nobody wins in a primary debate (they win elections), I don’t see how asking questions like that could be relevant to the campaigns. If you want to know who improved, just look at aggregate polling trends, like this : It’s updated daily and shows the trend of every available poll, states the region polled, and gives exact number of respondents. A simple “Who will you be voting for in the 2016 democratic primary?” does just fine.

      • Technically, you could “win” a traditional debate. The judges just add up the legitimate points made. But these are not really “debates” in that sense. Even so, people are seen as “winning” a debate if the materially benefit from it. They say Fiorina “won’ the first kids’ table debate, because she “won” an invitation to the adult table.

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