Two New Polls Show Biden Weakening in Aftermath of First Debate

Joe Biden speaks at an event at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, June 11, 2019. (Jordan Gale/Reuters)

Earlier this week, new polls from CNN and Quinnipiac showed former vice president Joe Biden slipping from his unquestionable status as frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, weakened by what many consider to have been a strong debate performance from California senator Kamala Harris last Thursday.

Today, two new polls from The Economist/YouGov and ABC/Washington Post complicate that picture, though they still suggest Biden is starting to lose his luster. They also indicate that a new top-tier has emerged in the wake of last week’s debate: Biden, Harris, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

According to the first survey, Biden maintains a slim lead among Democratic likely voters, but with only 21 percent — while Warren comes in a close second (18 percent), with Harris in third (13 percent) and Sanders following her (10 percent). The second poll shows the same top four, but with a much different spread: Biden in a slightly more commanding lead at 29 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, with Sanders at 23 percent, and Harris and Warren tied at 11 percent.

In the ABC/Post poll, though, Biden does show one distinct advantage: A substantial plurality of respondents (45 percent) said he has the best chance of any Democratic contender of defeating Donald Trump. Sanders comes the next closest in that question, at 18 percent.

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