By Saeed Sobhani

 Harris takes Biden's place?

July 6, 2019

 Polls recently published in the United States indicate that former US Vice President Joe Biden can no longer guarantee his easy victory in the Democratic primaries! In other words, Biden's definitive move to the final stage of the US presidential election in 2020 is no longer possible. An overview of the latest news and polls in the United States illustrates this very well:

Biden’s Iowa support crumbles in new poll

As politico reported, As Joe Biden lands in Iowa for two days of events, he’s confronting signs of crumbling support in the first-in-the-nation caucus state: A new survey shows he’s plummeted 20 percentage points since September.
A Focus on Rural America poll released Wednesday suggests the ground has shifted significantly over the past several months, with Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Biden currently clustered together at the top: Warren had 20 percent, Harris at 18 percent and Biden 17 percent.
Bernie Sanders came in fourth at 12 percent. In September, in the same poll, Biden was walloping the field; with 37 percent support, he led Sanders, his next closest competitor, by 25 points.

In the months since then, however, the former vice president has lagged behind other top-tier rivals in assembling an on-the-ground organization. Leading Iowa Democrats have complained Biden has failed to offer Iowans the kind of doting retail politics to which they’re accustomed.

Focus on Rural America Chair Patty Judge, also a former lieutenant governor in Iowa, said the results are the latest sign that Biden has to “step up his game” if he wants to compete in Iowa.

“He has not been campaigning in Iowa. He has not had a presence here,” Judge said. “Couple that with the debate — in which Kamala Harris certainly took a piece of his hide. I think it has caught up to him.”

The new survey showed Warren making the most marked gains, with a 12-percentage-point jump since March. It’s a sign the Massachusetts senator’s heavy investment in staffing and organization in the state might be paying off.“[Warren] is definitely seeing some of the fruits of all of the hard work done by her campaign in Iowa. She’s doing well because she’s been here,” Judge said. “She is growing here in name ID and popularity, she’s camped out here a good deal of the time. She has an incredible field operation going.”

Harris, too, saw a sizable bump, gaining 9 percentage points since March. Biden, meanwhile, dropped 8 percentage points since the March survey, when he led with 25 percent. The latest poll was in the field the weekend after the first presidential debates, when Harris seized headlines after a lengthy takedown of Biden over race-related questions. The survey was conducted by David Binder Research, who also serves as Harris’ main pollster.

But Harris stood at just 7 percent in December and 9 percent in March in the same poll.

The new poll is the latest sign of trouble for the 76-year-old Biden, who is attempting to regain his footing after his roundly panned first debate performance raised questions about the durability of his candidacy.

The former vice president has been buffeted in the days after the debate with questions about his record on civil rights and his recent comments about his relationship with segregationist senators.

Biden has had one high-profile donor abandon him and has seen his standing decline in several national polls taken after the debate.

His campaign, however, has committed to plowing more resources into early state infrastructure, including in Iowa, where 50 new staffers are rushing to catch up to already established organizations of Warren and others who began laying the groundwork as early as January.

Biden, who in June promised Iowans he would be paying closer attention to the state, will appear with his wife, Jill, at a community event in Waterloo on Wednesday. He will march in the Fourth of July parade in Independence on Thursday and has two other events scheduled.

Kamala Harris rises, Joe Biden slips in polls after first 2020 Democratic debate

Also, CNBC reported that the first Democratic presidential debate appears to have shaken up the 2020 race — at least for now.

A series of polls released after 20 candidates faced off last week found a bump for Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and a slide for the early front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden. The surveys largely show a tightening race among Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Harris, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — the four leading candidates according to a RealClearPolitics average of recent national Democratic primary polls.

Harris’ average support jumped to 14.7% on Wednesday, up from 7% on June 25, the day before the two-day debate started. An average of 27.2% of respondents supported Biden as of Wednesday, a drop from 32.1% on June 25.

“Clearly, the debate had an impression on Democrats and Democratic leaners we surveyed. The big question is can Sen. Harris continue to build on this momentum,” said Mary Snow, polling analyst at the Quinnipiac University Poll. A Quinnipiac survey released Tuesday showed Biden with 22% of support — down from 30% the previous month — and Harris with 20% — up from 7% previously.

The polls show how debates can shift the foundations of a presidential race — particularly a crowded one where candidates only get a few chances to speak to a national audience. Harris has at least temporarily nudged her way to the front of the pack, in part by hitting Biden with a personal attack over his race record during Thursday night’s debate.

Meanwhile, the former vice president’s early grip on the race has loosened as voters become more familiar with their alternatives. Of course, much can change between now and the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest that will take place in February. Any number of the two dozen candidates could experience a surge or slump after the five debates scheduled for later this year. The first of those will take place at the end of the month.“This was post-debate and we have a long way to go,” Snow said. “It’s six months before any presidential nominating contests. So we always want to keep that perspective.”

Polls suggest Harris’ debate performance helped her standing in the race. Nearly half, or 47%, of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters who said they watched most of the debate or paid attention to news stories about them, said Harris did the best job, according to the Quinnipiac poll. Among respondents who said they watched the debate, 29% backed Harris, while 18% supported both Biden and Warren.

In a separate ABC News/Washington Post poll, 41% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said Harris stood out in the debate. The survey found debate viewers felt better about supporting Harris. Only 5% of those who did not watch backed her for the nomination, while 20% who watched the senator in the debate supported her. Biden still leads the field in just about every poll. He has one other factor going for him: voters view him as the best option to beat Trump.

In the Quinnipiac poll, 42% of respondents said he had the best chance of winning the 2020 election. The ABC News/Washington Post poll found 45% of respondents believe Biden is best equipped to beat Trump.

Joe Biden's soft polling underbelly just got exposed

Also, CNN reported thatThere's only one takeaway from the new CNN-SSRS poll of the 2020 Democratic field: Joe Biden may not be the race's front-runner for much longer.

In the first poll conducted after the first two nights of debates between the top 20(!) candidates in the Democratic race, Biden stands at 22% -- followed closely by California Sen. Kamala Harris at 17%, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 15% and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 14%.

The real story isn't those numbers as much as it is the change between this latest poll and CNN's late May survey of the 2020 field. Biden is now down 10 POINTS from that May poll, while Harris is up 9 and Warren is up 8. (Sanders dropped by 4 points.)

It's hard not to see the impact of the debates -- my winners and losers from night one and night two, FYI -- in those numbers. Harris, and to a lesser extent Warren, shined on the stage. Biden, and to a lesser extent Sanders, sagged. (Worth noting: These numbers come hard on the heels of those debates -- so they may be capturing a bit of a recency effect among voters. Still ...)

What the rapid -- and steep -- drop in Biden's numbers seems to suggest is that lots of Democratic voters were sort of parking their support with the former vice president because, well, they knew him and liked him. (Biden's favorability among Democrats in the new CNN poll is 74%, while 22% have an unfavorable view.) The issue for Biden is that when presented with other serious, credible options via the debate(s), those voters who were parked on him headed to other candidates like Harris and Warren.

Obviously, drawing too many conclusions from a single set of data taken from a poll in late June is a dangerous proposition. But we aren't doing this in a vacuum. We know there have been questions (concerns?) about whether Biden -- a longtime senator and card-carrying member of the Democratic establishment -- is the right fit for a) these times and b) this party.

The Democratic Party of 2019 is younger, less white, more female, more liberal and far more skeptical of establishment politicians than it was even five years ago. Biden has been installed as the front-runner, yes, but the seeming mismatch with not only his profile but also the sort of campaign he is running so far (Trump is an anomaly, politics -- and Republicans -- will return to normal once he is gone, etc.) has always been a problem.

The Point: It's not yet clear if there is temporary or permanent slippage for Biden. But the numbers have to be deeply worrisome for his side either way.

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