Harris surges past Warren to claim third place in post-debate poll

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) surged past Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to rank third in the Democratic field after the first primary debate last week, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll.

The survey, which was conducted between June 29 and 30 among 449 registered voters, found that 11 percent of possible Democratic primary voters chose Harris as their first choice for president, compared to 9 percent of those who favored Warren.

This marks a 6-point bump for Harris from when an identical poll was conducted two weeks ago. The previous poll, taken between June 14 and June 15, showed Warren and Harris, along with former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (D) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), locked in a statistical tie for third place.

Harris still trails Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden by solid margins.

Thirty-three percent of respondents picked Biden as their top choice. Meanwhile, 15 percent of respondents said Sanders was their preferred candidate, which marks a 2-point bump from the previous survey.

Harris’s rise comes amid what many considered to be a standout debate performance during last week’s debate.

Harris stole the debate spotlight after criticizing Biden for invoking his working relationships with two segregationist senators as an example of “civility.” The California senator also confronted the former vice president over his opposition to school busing to desegregate schools during the 1970s.

Biden called Harris’s criticism a “mischaracterization” of his views. He later tried to clarify his position, saying he believed that the issue should be resolved at a state level, and that courts, and not the Education Department, should have set the rules on busing. 

Harris has stood by her comments and picked up more support following the debate, including two endorsements from Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members over the weekend.  

⁠—Tess Bonn  

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