New Polling Shows Joe Biden Clinging To Lead, Kamala Harris Debate Surge Cooling, Bernie Sanders In Trouble

Even after early polling showed Kamala Harris posing a serious threat to Joe Biden after the first Democratic debate, the race now appears to be settling.

Joe Biden shakes hands.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Even after early polling showed Kamala Harris posing a serious threat to Joe Biden after the first Democratic debate, the race now appears to be settling.

In early polling after last Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate, support for California Senator Kamala Harris surged, with Harris even erasing almost all of former vice president Joe Biden’s once-massive lead in one poll, as The Inquisitr reported. But in polling released on Wednesday, while still showing that Harris’s confrontation with Biden over racial issues during the debate has clearly left its mark, the Democratic race appeared to be settling back into its familiar pattern.

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Wednesday morning, Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren sit in third place, at 11 percent, behind second-place Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with 23 percent, and Biden out in front at 29 percent.

Asking the question only of registered voters, as reported by FiveThirtyEight.com, Biden’s support ticked up a notch, to 30 percent, while Sanders dropped to 19 percent. Harris rose to 13 percent with Warren in fourth place among registered voters at 12 percent.

But the Post/ABC poll also surveyed voters using a somewhat different question. Rather than providing respondents a list of candidates and asking to choose one, the survey first asked voters to pick their preferred candidate off the top of their heads. When the question was posed that way, 25 percent named Biden to 18 percent for Sanders — and just nine percent each for Harris and Warren, who remained tied for third.

Bernie Sanders talks while Kamala Harris listens

As The Inquisitr reported earlier, the big loser coming out of last week’s debate appeared to be Sanders, though the Post/ABC poll showed the 2016 Democratic primary runner-up staying in place behind Biden.

Earlier polls, however, showed Sanders slipping — and perhaps most alarming for Sanders, two new polls on Tuesday and Wednesday show his support in Iowa taking a significant dive. With the Iowa caucus leading off the Democratic primary season on February 3, the state is important for establishing momentum, and based on a Suffolk University poll, Sanders’ momentum is going in the wrong direction.

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The 77-year-old self-described “democratic socialist” Senator garnered only nine percent of voter support in Iowa, well behind Biden (24), Harris (16), and Warren (13). The state is crucial for Sanders, after it established him as a credible challenger to Hillary Clinton in 2016. He finished in a virtual tie with Clinton there, taking 49.6 percent to Clinton’s 49.9, according to CNN.

Another Iowa poll released on Wednesday, conducted by David Binder Research for the group Focus on Rural America, showed similar trouble for Sanders. That poll showed Warren leading Iowa Democratic voters at 20 percent, with Harris close behind at 18 percent. Biden slid to third in Iowa with 17 percent, according to the FORA poll — with Sanders buried in fourth place at 12 percent.

The average of all polls compiled by Real Clear Politics confirmed that Biden and Sanders were the big losers after Thursday’s debate. Biden’s polling average plummeted from 32 percent on the day of the debate, to 27.2 as of Wednesday. Sanders slid from 16.9 percent in the polling average to 14.8.