CNN Poll: Harris Surges into Second Place Post-Debate, Biden Lead Weakens as Field Shakes Up

Democratic presidential candidates, author Marianne Williamson, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., raise their hands when asked …
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

In a national poll by CNN after the first Democrat presidential primary debates last week, former Vice President Joe Biden remains the 2020 frontrunner but only by a slim and shrinking margin. While Biden stumbles, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is surging now, according to this poll, and is firmly in second place behind Biden.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) remains strong in third place, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has slipped down to fourth place–and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg has dropped off significantly down to just four percent.

This CNN survey, conducted in the immediate aftermath of last Wednesday and Thursday’s debates from June 28 to June 30, found Biden still in first place, but at just 22 percent–a slide of ten points from the last time CNN polled a national Democrat primary electorate.

Harris, meanwhile, is now firmly in second place at 17 percent. Warren, at 15 percent, is in third place, while Sanders has dropped to 14 percent in fourth place. Buttigieg, at four percent, is in fifth place, while Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) are tied for sixth with three percent apiece. After that, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is in eighth place with two percent and rounding out the rest of the polling at one percent apiece were New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, businessman Andrew Yang, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. Under one percent were Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), author Marianne Williamson and Miramar, Florida, mayor Wayne Messam.

The sample of 656 registered Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents has a margin of error of 4.7 percent, meaning Biden’s mere five percent lead over Harris is essentially negligible.

Harris brought the heat against Biden in Thursday night’s second round of candidates, lighting up the former vice president on his history of working with segregationists to oppose busing of minority children to racially integrate schools. Harris noted that she was in the second class of students in Berkeley, California, to be bussed to school. “That little girl was me,” Harris’s line, has become a sensation post-debate with the Harris campaign even selling merchandise bearing the phrase.

Buttigieg has faced similar racial problems amid his handling as mayor of a police shooting of a black man in South Bend in the leadup to the debate.

Warren, meanwhile, had the stage essentially to herself on Wednesday, when she faced off against nine other challengers and continuing making her case against Wall Street and the wealthy elite.

The next debates come at the end of July in Detroit.

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