2020 Democratic Primary Polls: Kamala Harris Now In Dead Heat With Joe Biden After Debate Performance

Kamala Harris at a campaign event.
Cliff Hawkins / Getty Images

Kamala Harris continues to rise after a strong performance in the first Democratic debates, with new polls showing that she has surged into a dead heat with onetime frontrunner Joe Biden both nationally and in some key early states.

A new Quinnipiac University poll showed that Harris surged into a statistical tie with Biden in the wake of the opening two nights of debates. Harris took on Biden directly at the debate for his past support of segregationists in the U.S. Senate and his opposition to busing to end segregated schools, leading many pundits to name her the winner of a very crowded field.

As the poll showed, Harris had the support of 20 percent of likely Democratic primary voters while Biden was just ahead with 22 percent. It represented a significant jump for the California Senator. As The Daily Mail noted, Harris had been mired in the single digits in polls leading up to the debate, garnering just 7 percent in Quinnipiac’s last poll in June.

Kamala Harris is also rising in some of the key early states for the 2020 Democratic primary. A new Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll of Iowa voters showed that Harris had overtaken onetime Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders, who fell all the way to fourth place. Biden still led this poll with the support of 24 percent of voters, but Harris surged into second place at 16 percent, followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren with 13 percent and Sanders with 9 percent.

As USA Today noted, the poll showed there was still plenty of room for any of the candidates to grow their support.

“The new standings are hardly set in stone,” the report noted.

“Twenty-one percent are undecided. Six of 10 who have decided say they might change their mind before the caucuses. One in four say their minds are firmly made up. The second set of debates, scheduled for the end of the month in Detroit, could upend the horse race again.”

As the first state to vote in the 2020 Democratic primary, Iowa has the chance to send either Harris or Biden on a trajectory toward the nomination or stop their momentum dead in its tracks.

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Joe Biden had been the frontrunner since even before officially entering the race, but has seen his lead soften in the lead-up to the first presidential debate. As the poll aggregator Real Clear Politics showed, Biden has been on a slow but steady decline after reaching over 40 percent support. Harris appears to have been the biggest beneficiary of Biden’s fall, though others including Warren have also been on the rise.