Sen. Kamala Harris Jumps 6% In New Political Poll, Largely At Expense Of Biden
According to a new poll by Morning Consult, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) has jumped to 12% in the polls following the Democratic primary debates, leaving her tied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) for third place.
The senator, who was at 6% support before the debates last week, rose another 6% after the debates to reach the 12% mark. It seems that much of her new support comes at the expense of former Vice President Joe Biden, who dropped from 38% to 33% in the new poll.
Harris used the stage last Thursday night to attack Biden on his history with race, remarking how “hurtful” his boasts about working with segregationists were. In an emotional speech, she then pursued him on his 1960s opposition to forced school integration via busing, bringing up the fact that she was one of the African Americans who were part of that first round of bus integration.
The results of the new poll point to the fluidity of the primary field, and how the current top tier of candidates is sure to be reshuffled in the coming months. Other than Harris, the other five most popular candidates either stayed level or lost support after the debates, indicating that even the highest-polling candidates still do not have totally solid voter bases.
While Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) retained the 19% of voters who said he was their first choice, he was the only candidate to experience a measurable drop in favorability. While 74% of voters said that they had a favorable view of him before the debates, that number was at 67% afterward, seven points down from his original number.
Harris’ recent jump in the polls, as well as the $2 million she raised in the 24 hours following the debate, indicate that she may be able to provide an appealing figure for a wide spectrum of Democratic voters. She is progressive enough to appeal to many liberals, yet far enough from being a socialist to appeal to the party’s centrist wing. She has enough experience to grant her legitimacy but hasn’t been in politics long enough to rack up dozens of political missteps. And, as a Jamaican-Indian woman, Harris provides a diverse face that can appeal to the party’s minority voters who may not be as taken with one of the many white men who currently make up the primary field.