Two nights of raucous Democratic debates in which 20 candidates in the race for the party's 2020 nomination exchanged punches over such issues as health care, criminal justice and the best strategy to defeat Donald Trump.
The first poll released since Wednesday's second night of debates appears to show that all of the heated battles that took place on the Detroit stage amounted to very little. Former Vice President Joe Biden continued to maintain a comfortable lead via the HarrisX poll of 2,000 registered United States voters. The poll was conducted July 30, the day of the first debate night, and through August 1, the day after the second night.
Harris/X conducts its poll on a daily basis, enabling the poll to measure the immediate effects of news events, such as the debates, on a candidate's support. But from a Harris/X poll completed on the day of the first debate through the poll released on Friday, Biden has held steady at 30 percent support.
The second-place candidate, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, made some small gains. However, thanks to a debate performance judged by experts, this was one of his stronger outings, according to a New York Times analysis.
Sanders edged up from 15 to 18 percent, shaving three points off Biden's lead. But, with Sanders still looking at a 12-point deficit, according to the poll, he continues to face a steep uphill battle in hopes of catching the frontrunner.
One moment of the debate quickly went viral. Hawaii congressional rep Tulsi Gabbard launched into an all-out assault on California Senator Kamala Harris concerning Harris's record as state attorney general, and also as a district attorney earlier in her career. Harris shrugged off the attack after the debate, saying that she could not seriously take an attack from a candidate polling "at zero or one percent, or whatever she might be at," as The Inquisitr reported.
As seen by the new Harris/X poll, the assault appears to have helped Gabbard more than hurting Harris — and the assault did not really help Gabbard all that much. According to the polling, Gabbard crept up from zero percent support in the previous day's Harris/X poll, to one percent in the new poll.
Gabbard remains in serious danger of being excluded from the next Democratic debate scheduled for September. To qualify for that debate, a candidate must achieve two percent support in specified polls, according to Newsweek.
Harris remained unchanged at eight percent support in the three successive polls, while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren picked up a single point — which is not statistically a significant gain — rising from eight percent to nine percent, as FiveThirtyEight.com documented. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also picked up a point, now standing at three percent, leaving him in a good position to qualify for the next Democratic debate.