The first post-debate poll is out, and perceptions of each of the front-runners appear to reflect Grit Post‘s analysis of each of the two initial Democratic presidential debates.
According to a Morning Consult/FiveThirtyEight poll released on Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden lost 10 points in overall favorability compared to before the debate, and gained three points in overall unfavorability, amounting to a net favorability loss of 13 points. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) — who is considered Biden’s closest rival in the earliest polls — saw his net favorability increase by 1.9 points. Sanders overtook Biden in post-debate favorability, with 76.3% of respondents viewing him favorably compared to 75.6% post-debate favorability for Biden.
However, the biggest change in the polls based on Thursday night’s debate was for Senator Kamala Harris (D-California), who saw her net favorability increase by 9.8 points. While other candidates, like South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and motivational speaker Marianne Williamson saw their favorable ratings increase, they also saw a significant increase in their unfavorables, making Harris the overall winner in this post-debate poll.
Overall, however, the candidate that saw the biggest post-debate boost was former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. According to the same Morning Consult/FiveThirtyEight poll, Castro saw his favorables jump by 18.5 points, and his unfavorable increase by only 2.4 points, giving him an overall boost in favorability of more than 16 points. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), whom many say won the evening, also did well, seeing a post-debate net favorability gain of 9 points, for an overall favorability score of 71.4%.
The next round of debates will happen on July 30 and July 31, with ten candidates on each stage each night, as was the case for the June debates. However, because the lineups were selected at random, the same candidates may not face each other the next time around. The threshold to qualify for the fall debates, beginning in September, is significantly higher, and may result in fewer candidates qualifying to be on the stage.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.