Pollster sees 'potential upside' for Harris in 2020 polling

Pollster Mallory Newall on Wednesday said that she sees a potential upside in the polling of Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message De Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Buttigieg condemns 'voices on Fox' for spreading 'fear' and 'lies' ahead of town hall appearance MORE's (D-Calif.) 2020 candidacy, despite not being the most well-known presidential candidate in the field. 

"I do think for Kamala Harris in particular, there's a potential upside because, among Democrats, she is really well-liked," Newall, research director at Ipsos Public Affairs, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Robinette BidenButtigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE, who has yet to launch a 2020 bid, have continuously been the best-known candidates in the field, according to various polls.  

"Not many of them are well known right now, with your exception of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but among those who do know Kamala Harris, a majority of them feel favorable, feel positive toward her," Newall said. 

"So I think there's a potential upside for her to exist in this space of ... going back to the idea of being a change agent, a woman of color who is progressive on a number of issues, and who is kind of looking to shake up the status quo," she said. 

A Des Moines Register–CNN–Mediacom Iowa poll released earlier this week found that 27 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers said Biden is their first choice for president, followed by Sanders, at 25 percent.  

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg jokes about holding town hall same night as 'Game of Thrones' finale Buttigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Warren offers to help Twitter user with her love life MORE (D-Mass.) came in third place, with 9 percent, followed by Harris, at 7 percent. 

However, Harris has seen her favorability ratings rise since announcing her campaign in January. 

The Des Moines Register reports that 49 percent viewed the senator favorably in December, while 58 percent view her favorably now. 

— Julia Manchester