Following the first Democratic debate, back in June, Sen. Kamala Harris saw a jump in her poll numbers as her attack on former vice president Joe Biden seemed to awaken voters to her campaign.
Now, on the eve of the second Democratic debate, with the first night airing Tuesday, July 30, on CNN, Biden’s poll numbers have remained steady while Harris has seen a softening of support.
The new numbers from Quinnipiac see Kamala Harris dropping 8 points since their prior poll on July 2. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
Former Vice President Joseph Biden reverses his slump following the first Democratic presidential debate and now leads the pack with 34 percent of Democrats and independent voters who lean Democratic, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has 15 percent, with 12 percent for California Sen. Kamala Harris and 11 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
This compares to results of a July 2 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University National Poll, showing Biden with 22 percent, Harris with 20 percent, Warren with 14 percent and Sanders with 13 percent.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has continued her steady uphill climb as she consolidates support which seems to be coming at the expense of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Warren leads “very liberal” Democrats at 29 percent, while 25 percent go for Biden, 15 percent for Sanders, and 12 percent for Harris.
This dynamic for Warren has been a noteworthy trend in the numbers. Joe Biden still maintains the lead among “somewhat liberal” and “moderate” Democrats, but the field is starting to gel into identifiable coalitions.
“In the blink of an eye, the post-debate surge for Sen. Kamala Harris fades and former Vice President Joseph Biden regains his footing among Democratic presidential contenders,” said Mary Snow, polling analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll.
“Electability remains his strongest pull. Across the board, Biden remains by far the Democrat seen as having the best chance of defeating President Trump.”
“While Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris have been riding a seesaw of support, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is holding steady in the support she’s seeing from Democrats and Democratic leaners and she remains the candidate seen has having the best policy ideas,” Snow added.
Harris’ attacks made an impact in July, but there doesn’t appear to be permanent damage attached to Biden. He’s still leading for the same reason he held the top spot previously. Democratic voters believe he has the best chance of beating Donald Trump.
Warren has been building support based on her policy positions and legislative proposals which seem mich further developed than most of her colleagues in the Democratic field. Harris, on the other hand, had her surge of support after the first debate, but she has struggled to capitalize on the momentum other than to double-down on the attack, only to try and demure when pressed further on what she was implying about Joe Biden’s personal character.
In a sense, Harris’ support surged but ended up being very soft as voters continued to stay fluid in their choice and non-committal.
The second debate could be more decisive depending on the outcome. Clearly, Joe Biden will come better prepared, and Kamala Harris will have to decide whether to dial-up or dial-down her attacks based on Biden’s reaction.
Perhaps aside from the Biden/Harris battle on night two, watching Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren battle on night one for the large slice of progressive Democratic voters will have more of an impact on the race overall.
We’ll have complete debate coverage Tuesday morning including live stream links and all the details you need to tune-in and watch.