Poll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s momentum in the Democratic presidential race has stalled after a lackluster debate performance in Las Vegas this week, according to a new poll.
The Morning Consult poll released Friday shows Bloomberg falling into third place behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden, dropping 3 points compared to a similar Morning Consult survey from before the debate.
The former mayor is still registering double-digit support, at 17 percent, but Bloomberg’s post-debate dip was the largest of any candidate.
Sanders, meanwhile, held on to his first-place position in the poll and even gained 2 points compared to the pre-debate survey, rising to 30 percent support. Biden stayed steady at 19 percent.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) finished in fourth place in the survey with 12 percent support — a 2-point gain since earlier this week — while former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg fell into fifth place with 11 percent support and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) trailed at 5 percent.
The Morning Consult poll, which was conducted entirely after this week’s debate, suggests that Bloomberg’s debate performance has slowed his rise in the Democratic presidential race.
Throughout Wednesday night’s forum, the former mayor struggled to fend off rapid-fire attacks from his rivals, who targeted his political record, allegations of sexual harassment and willingness to spend his immense personal fortune to outdo his competition.
The bungled performance also appears to have eroded Bloomberg’s favorability numbers, according to the Morning Consult poll.
Before the debate, 61 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the former mayor, compared to 25 percent who said they had an unfavorable opinion of him. After the debate, Bloomberg’s favorable rate dropped to 52 percent while those with an unfavorable opinion climbed to 35 percent, the poll found.
In fact, Bloomberg’s favorability saw the most significant net decrease among self-described moderate voters. Prior to the debate, 66 percent of moderates reported having a favorable opinion of Bloomberg, while only 21 percent said they had an unfavorable view of him. After the debate, his favorable rating had dropped to 52 percent and his unfavorable rate rose to 36 percent.
The Morning Consult poll surveyed 2,609 voters who indicated that they may vote in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus on Feb. 20, the day after the Las Vegas debate. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.