Harris surges to second in new national poll

Sen. (D-Calif.) surged into second place following last week’s Democratic presidential debates, cutting deep into former Vice President ’s long-held lead in the primary contest, according to a national poll released Tuesday.

Harris soared to 20 percent in the Quinnipiac University survey, while Biden fell to 22 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters.That’s a significant change from a Quinnipiac poll released last month that showed Biden leading the pack with 30 percent and Harris lingering in a distant fourth place with 7 percent support.

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The Quinnipiac survey is the latest in recent days to show Harris riding a wave of new support following her standout performance in Thursday’s debate.

A CNN/SSRS poll released Monday showed the California senator jumping into second place with 17 percent support. Likewise, a Suffolk University Iowa poll found Harris surging into second in the crucial first-in-the-nation caucus state.

The latest poll also shows Sen. (D-Mass.) pulling ahead of Sen. (I-Vt.) with 14 percent and 13 percent respectively. South Bend, Ind., Mayor came in with 4 percent support in the survey.

Among respondents who said they watched last week’s debates, 29 percent said they would most likely vote for Harris in the primary, the most of any candidate, while 18 percent said Biden was their top choice, the same percentage as those who picked Warren.

The polling data suggests that Harris’s performance, which featured a sharp confrontation with Biden, during last week’s debate has given her campaign a crucial bump as the primary race begins to heat up.

Biden, on the other hand, has seen his political stock fall in recent days following a wobbly debate performance in which he found himself repeatedly fending off criticism for his past opposition to federally mandated school busing, as well as for his recent comments about working with segregationists during his early years in the Senate.

It was Harris, however, who delivered the most pointed attack on Biden over the busing issue, recalling on the debate stage how she was bussed to a different school as a child.

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me,” Harris said, addressing Biden directly.

The Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday showed Harris gaining support among black voters, trailing only 4 points behind Biden’s 31 percent.

It’s unclear if Harris will be able to maintain her momentum in the race. Polls provide brief snapshots of political races, and voting in the Democratic primary contest does not begin for another seven months. 

Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters polled by Quinnipiac also said they prefer Warren’s policy proposals more so than those of other candidates. Asked which candidate has the best policy ideas, 31 percent of respondents pointed to Warren, while 18 percent picked Sanders. Biden came in at 11 percent and Harris at 8 percent.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 554 Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters from June 28-July 1. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Updated 2:47 p.m.

Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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