Harris jumps to 2nd place in post-debate poll

Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is gaining on former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary, rocketing into second place following her standout debate performance last week, according to a poll from CNN and SSRS released Monday.

The poll, conducted in the days after the first round of debates, shows Harris with 17 percent support among registered Democratic and Democratic-leaning independents, a 9-point increase for the California senator since CNN’s last primary poll in May.

{mosads}Biden, meanwhile, has lost some ground following a shaky debate performance last week, according to the survey. While the former vice president came out on top with 22 percent support, that’s a significant decline from the 32 percent he held in a similar poll conducted in May.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gained ground in the CNN survey, notching 15 percent support, an 8-point jump since May.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has held the second-place spot in most public polls for months, dropped to fourth in the CNN survey, taking 14 percent support. 

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) came in a distant fifth with 4 percent support. 

It’s unclear whether the poll reflects voters’ snap reactions to the debates or if it portends a new state of the Democratic primary contest. It was conducted from June 28 to June 30, right after the first round of primary debates, which may have colored voters’ immediate preferences.

Still, there is a growing sense among rival campaigns that Biden, who entered the race as a presumed front-runner, may not be as much of a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination as once thought.

That was evidenced on Thursday when Harris laced into him during the second night of debates, demanding that he answer for his opposition to mandated school busing to promote racial integration in education as a young senator in the 1970s as well as for his comments about working with segregationists senators.

The exchange won Harris praise from many liberals, who saw it as a standout moment in her campaign after months of relative stagnation for the senator. For some moderates, however, the confrontation underscored a lingering concern that, despite his elevated status in the party, Biden may be out of touch with some of the Democratic Party’s more modern positions.

Warren was also seen as having a successful debate performance when she took the stage on Wednesday. That round saw the Massachusetts senator largely command the policy debate, an ability that has helped give her an edge in recent polls. 

The CNN-SSRS poll is based on live telephone interviews with 1,613 registered voters, including 656 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points for the full sample and of 4.7 percentage points for the subsample of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters.

Tags 2020 2020 campaign 2020 election Bernie Sanders debates Democratic debates Democratic primary Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video