In the first poll taken of the Democratic presidential primary since Tuesday night’s debate, former vice president Joe Biden has a substantial lead over the rest of the field. According to the new survey, conducted by Morning Consult yesterday, Biden has the support of 31 percent of Democratic primary voters, and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren falls ten points behind at 21 percent.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who was considered to have a successful performance in the debate, comes in third at 18 percent, trailed quite a bit by California senator Kamala Harris at 7 percent and South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6 percent.
Tuesday’s event, hosted by CNN and the New York Times, featured three hours of debate between twelve Democratic candidates, many of whom spent much of their speaking time pressing Warren to account for her policy positions. As a result, there were large portions of the debate where Biden hardly spoke at all — perhaps an advantage, given that his campaign efforts thus far have featured a number of missteps and generated the impression that he’s lost his edge.
Candidates’ inclination to focus their fire on Warren on Tuesday also suggests that the Massachusetts senator continues to solidify her position as Biden’s chief competitor for the nomination. Most polls over the last several weeks have shown her in a close second to the former vice president, and many even have shown her in the lead. The latest poll in Iowa, for instance, shows Biden and Warren tied at 23 percent among Democratic caucus voters.
Today’s Morning Consult poll, which surveyed more than 2,000 Democratic voters, shows hardly any change from the group’s last survey of the primary contest, suggesting that Tuesday’s debate performances did little to move the needle. It’s worth noting, though, that Morning Consult data have consistently shown Biden in a solid lead, so given the large number of surveys showing Warren in close contention, it could be an outlier.