By Saeed Sobhani

The weakness of the former vice president of the United States in the debate

July 3, 2019

TEHRAN-Former Vice President Joe Biden still has a great chance to attend the upcoming presidential election. Biden's popularity, however, has fallen far more than before. The reality is that if Biden fails to compete with other Democrat candidates in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, he can hardly continue to run for electoral competition. Eventually, Biden will have a lot of concerns about the 2020 presidential election.

Poll: Biden support sinks, Harris moves up to third place after Democratic debate

As The Hill reported, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) surged into third place among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates following what many considered a standout debate performance on Thursday, according to a new Morning Consult poll. The survey, which was released Saturday, found that 12 percent of potential Democratic primary voters chose Harris, who made headlines for confronting former Vice President Joe Biden (D) about his past views on busing, as their first choice for president. The figure represents a 6 percentage point surge from an identical poll released last week. 

Harris still trails Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Biden by solid margins. But Morning Consult noted that Harris's surge came at the expense of Biden, who saw his support drop by 5 percentage points from last week. Thirty-three percent of respondents picked Biden as their top choice. Meanwhile, 19 percent of respondents said Sanders was their preferred candidate. Twelve percent of possible Democratic primary voters said they'd choose Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as the party's presidential nominee. It was a decrease of 1 percentage point and good enough to place her in a tie for third with Harris. 

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) appeared ahead of Harris in the previous Morning Consult poll, with 7 percent of respondents saying they'd vote for him. He received 6 percent of the support to sit in fourth place in the most recent survey. Harris's rise comes on the heels of a commanding performance on the second night of the first 2020 presidential debates. At one point, the California senator engaged in a contentious back-and-forth with Biden after she criticized his opposition to busing to desegregate schools. "There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day," Harris said to Biden. "That little girl was me." 

Biden called Harris's criticism a "mischaracterization" of his views and said his issue was with the Department of Education administering busing policies. The Morning Consult post-debate poll was conducted between June 27 and June 28 among 2,407 registered voters who said they were considering voting in a Democratic primary or caucus in their state. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Biden's Support Slipped 10 Points After Debates, Poll Shows

Also, Time reported that The first Democratic primary debates appear to have cost Vice President Joe Biden some of his supporters – at least for now, one poll suggests. Polling by Morning Consult and FiveThirtyEight before and after the two debates on Wednesday and Thursday suggests that support for Biden dropped by about 10 points among likely Democratic voters when asked who they would choose if the election were held tomorrow.

Biden had previously enjoyed a healthy lead over the other Democrats. The polling prior to debates, which was conducted between June 19 and 26, suggested that Biden was supported by about 41.5% of voters. At that point, the polling showed Sen. Elizabeth Warren had the support of 12.6% of voters and Bernie Sanders had 14.4% of support. Biden appears to have slipped in the polls after each debate, his support falling to 35.4% after the first debate and to 31.5% after the second round.

Post-debate analyses suggest that Sen. Kamala Harris’ strong debate performance – coupled with her willingness directly attack Biden, including his civil rights record – posed a challenge for the former Vice President. In one of the most heated moments of the debate, Harris drew attention to Biden’s previous opposition to busing as a tool to promote school integration. The poll also showed Harris gaining a significant number of supporters. While she had the support of just 7.9% of likely voters before the debate, she had 16.6% of the support afterward.

Other candidates appeared to experience smaller gains and losses, according to the poll. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ support rose from 14.4% to 17.3% after the second debate; Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s support grew from 12.6% to 14.4%.

Deep dive into SC’s 2020 presidential poll shows why Biden leads, Trump dominates

But Postandcourier reported that The past week has been busy for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. They crammed onto a hot stage outside a Columbia children’s museum for U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn’s Fish Fry. They piled one-by-one into the Columbia’s convention center to speak to the state party faithful. Then they traveled to Miami for the race’s first nationally televised debates. No wonder, in a poll taken shortly before this eventful week, four out of five S.C. Democratic voters say they are following the race closely.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has long ties to South Carolina, has led the field for the Feb. 29 primary since the first Post and Courier/Change Research poll was conducted in February. Those behind him have changed from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and California Sen. Kamala Harris to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the latest survey.

Polling shows the other top S.C. contenders in the 24-candidate field are New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, whose numbers haven fallen off. Here are some other insights from the latest Post and Courier/Change Research poll about the crowded 2020 S.C. Democratic primary and the general election in a state that has gone Republican since 1976. Getting to know you Name recognition is helping Biden and Sanders.

Almost every S.C. Democratic voter is seeing or reading some news and information about Biden, the highest mark in the field and just an ahead of Sanders. Warren and Harris come next with eight in 10 voters getting some information about the senators. Booker, O’Rourke, and Buttigieg come at the end of the current crop of front-runners.

The coverage of Buttigieg as the 2020 race’s breakout candidate has helped in South Carolina where he sits third in polling. While the mayor is not known by 19 percent of S.C. voters, that’s not far off O’Rourke, considered the best potential breakout star after losing a highly contested race for the U.S. Senate in Texas last year.

Biden has the highest favorability marks among the 2020 Democrats in South Carolina, according to the poll taken before the former vice president’s comments about getting along with senators who backed segregation. He sits at 81 percent, aided by thumbs up from nine in 10 black voters. Warren, Sanders, and Harris are next, hovering around 65 percent approval. The next grouping includes Buttigieg and Booker around 55 percent. The survey was taken before Buttigieg was criticized for his handling of a white South Bend police officer killing a black man. The rest, including O’Rourke, have favorability ratings under 50 percent with many voters just feeling neutral about candidates.

GOP support for President Donald Trump remains strong in South Carolina.Nine in 10 S.C. Republicans give the president favorable ratings and good marks on his job performance. A bulk of GOP voters, 70 percent, said Trump reflects the Republican Party’s views.
Eight in 10 S.C. GOP voters say they plan on definitely casting a ballot for Trump next year. Just 2 percent said they would definitely vote for another candidate. Still, Trump is not faring well among women in the state, especially those who are college-educated and identify as independent. The president’s core is white men and non-college educated voters.

No surprise in a Republican-leaning state that Trump would defeat top current Democratic challengers in a projected general election. Biden does the best, losing 54 percent to 38 percent. The former vice president comes close to beating Trump among independents, 42 percent to 40 percent. Harris, Sanders and Booker nab 32 percent to 34 percent of the vote versus the president while earning a smaller share of support from independents. 

In looking at the chances of winning the White House, Democrats are pretty evenly split between predicting a Democrat will probably beat Trump and the race will be a toss-up. Republicans are much more confident about their chances in November 2020 with nine in 10 predicting victory for Trump. And more than half of S.C. independents think the president will win another four years. 

Health care is the top issue for S.C. Democratic primary voters followed by education, minority rights, abortion and jobs/economy. Nearly 90 percent of Democratic primary voters support Medicare-for-all. The climate, a huge topic at the recent presidential debates, ranked sixth. Immigration was by far the biggest priority for S.C. Republican primary voters. Nearly a third of GOP voters cited the issue atop President Donald Trump’s agenda as their main concern followed by abortion, transportation/roads and taxes. Jobs and crime fell outside the top five biggest issues.

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