/ 2 July 2019

US Democratic frontrunner Biden drops in polls after debate

Despite post-debate fluctuations
There’s Joe Biden, former president Barrack Obama’s vice-president for eight years. At the onset of the primary season that status alone catapulted him to the top of every poll as the presumptive nominee.(Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

Support among Democrats declined for frontrunner Joe Biden following last week’s US presidential candidate debate, while Senator Kamala Harris saw her popularity rise, according to CNN poll released on Monday.

Biden, a former vice president under Barack Obama, still polls the highest at 22% among the two-dozen contenders for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican President Donald Trump.

But that’s a drop from 32% support in late May, while Harris, a California Senator whose exchange with Biden on racial discrimination was seen as a standout moment during the debates, saw her standing rise to 17% in the CNN poll, putting her in second place.

The trend was affirmed by a Politico/Morning Consult poll released last Saturday that showed Biden’s support declining to 33% from 38% before the debate, as Harris’s climbed to 12% from six percent.

Harris, who aims to be the first black female US president, was tied at 12% alongside progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren in that poll.

The CNN poll, which surveyed 1 613 voters and had a margin of error of three percent, showed Warren in third place with 15% support.

It also indicated declining support for leftwing Senator Bernie Sanders, who dropped to 14%, from 18% before the debates.

However the Politico/Morning Consult poll, which surveyed 2 407 voters with a two percent margin of error, showed Sanders’s support unchanged after the debates and put him in second place, after Biden.

Meanwhile Pete Buttigieg, the young mayor of South Bend, Indiana, came in fifth place in both polls; CNN had him at four percent support, while Politico/Morning Consult put him at six percent.

Despite post-debate fluctuations, voters still see Biden as the strongest candidate against Trump, with 43% saying he has the best change to unseat him out of any of the Democrats.

Only 13% believed Sanders could do the job, while Harris managed to convince 12 percent of voters.

Months of campaigning remain for the Democratic contenders, with the opening Democratic primary contest in Iowa set for next February.

And polls in the United States have been wrong before, most notably during the 2016 election, in which Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton led in most polls but nonetheless lost to Trump

© Agence France-Presse