Following a contentious, and expansive Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, with 12 candidates vying to take on Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election all taking the stage at once, the race for the party’s nomination remains largely unaffected. Former vice president Joe Biden remains firmly in the lead, according to a new Morning Consult poll — the first poll taken following the debate.
Despite dropping by one percentage point since last week’s Morning Consult poll, Biden commanded 31 percent support of Democratic voters in the new survey. That put him a full 10 points ahead of the second-place candidate, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose 21 percent support has remained constant for three consecutive Morning Consult polls.
Perhaps the worst news in the poll came for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who also ran for the nomination in 2016. A recent heart attack appears to have caused a sudden drop in Sanders’ popularity among Democratic voters, as The Inquisitr has reported.
Though he lost only one point in the new poll — dropping to 18 percent after the debate from 19 percent in a pre-debate Morning Consult poll — Sanders remains in third place after he was passed by a surging Warren back on September 22. While Sanders was likely hoping a solid debate performance would quell doubts about his health and ignite a resurgence in the polls, he went in the other direction, falling three points behind Warren.
But it’s not only the Morning Consult poll that has held bad news for the Sanders campaign in recent weeks. According to the average of all polls compiled by the political site RealClearPolitics, Sanders has fallen a daunting eight points behind Warren, who holds the second-place position at 23.4 percent.
Biden also leads in the RCP Polling average, at 29.4 percent, putting him six points ahead of Warren. But there may be danger signs on the horizon for the former VP, who also served six terms in the U.S. Senate. Prior to the Morning Consult poll released on Thursday, Warren led the previous two polls — by The Economist and YouGov, and Quinnipiac University — by four points and three points respectively, as reported by RCP.
While Biden’s performance in Tuesdays’ debate was mostly low-key and described as an “afterthought” by BuzzFeed News, he may have done exactly what he needed to do as a frontrunner protecting a lead, rather than a lower-ranking contender such as Warren or Sanders who needed the debate to push them upward in the polls.