Joe Biden Remains Clear Frontrunner Even After Bizarre Debate Performance, First Post-Debate Poll Finds

Joe Biden's Thursday debate performance received scathing reviews from political pundits and media commentators, but so far voters have reacted with a shrug.

Joe Biden debates.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Joe Biden's Thursday debate performance received scathing reviews from political pundits and media commentators, but so far voters have reacted with a shrug.

Former United States Vice President Joe Biden was savaged by media and political critics for his bizarre debate performance on Thursday in Houston, in which he appeared to be struggling with loose dentures, seemed to forget that he was no longer the Vice President as The Inquisitr reported, and responded to a question about the “legacy of slavery” in America with a lengthy, rambling rant in which he talked about “the record player” and radio, but never addressed the question.

But while some pundits lambasted Biden’s performance at the debate as “disqualifying,” as The Washington Post reported, early polling from immediately after the September 12 debate shows that far from disqualifying Biden from the presidential race, voters reacted with a shrug.

According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, reporting results of a Harris X tracking poll via Twitter, the latest results of a three-day tracking poll that included September 13, the day following the debate, show Biden holding 31 percent of Democratic voter support, more than doubling the share held by second-place Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who stands at 15 percent.

Rasmussen noted that in the portion of the poll conducted the day after the debate Biden’s support was at 29 percent, but nonetheless, the poll showed “no significant change” to the Democratic 2020 race, as a result of the debate.

Elizabeth Warren gives an interview.
One poll showed Elizabeth Warren benefitted from Thursday’s debate more than any other candidate. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Another poll, conducted by FiveThirtyEight.com and the research firm Ipsos, measured changes in voter attitudes toward the 10 candidates on stage Thursday in Houston — again finding voter views of Biden almost entirely unaffected by his performance in the debate.

The “winner” of the debate in the FiveThirtyEight.com polling was Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who picked up the most support with 48 percent of voters saying that they would consider casting a ballot for her after seeing the debate, compared to 44.4 percent who were considering a vote for Warrant before Thursday.

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But even with his widely attacked performance, Biden lost less than one percentage point in support, as 55.8 percent said they would consider a vote for him, down from 56.6 percent before the debate. And Biden actually gained slightly in overall favorability, at 70 percent favorable compared to 69.1 percent favorable pre-debate.

Warren showed the largest gain in favorability rating, per FiveThirtyEight.com, however, jumping to 70.4 percent from 63.8.

While Biden dropped slightly in voter perception of his ability to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 general election, from 68.3 percent before the debate saying Biden world defeat Trump to 67.6 after, in nationwide general election polling, Biden has dominated Trump completely. In a poll released Wednesday, Biden pounded Trump by 15 percentage points, as The Inquisitr reported. That was the 20th straight poll since he announced his candidacy in which Biden beat Trump, in most cases by sizable margins.