After the debates, Democratic race not shaken, but slightly stirred

After last week’s Democratic debates, I predicted that the face-offs wouldn’t alter the race much, but that Elizabeth Warren might get a bounce and Kamala Harris would take a slight hit. I also said that Marianne Williamson’s position would not improve significantly, notwithstanding all of the Google searches that her new age preaching generated.

Now we have a survey taken during the days following the debate. The poll, by Quinnipiac, has the virtue of comparing its latest results with those from a survey taken shortly before the debates commenced.

Quinnipiac found that, indeed, Warren received a bounce while Harris took a hit. And Williamson remains at zero percent. She is joined in that status by Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, John Delaney, Tim Ryan, Bill de Blasio, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Tom Steyer, and several other candidates.

As measured by Quinnipiac, Warren’s bounce and Harris’s hit are more substantial than I expected. Warren is up 6 points. Harris is down 5. Bernie Sanders picked up 3 points.

Joe Biden, who was able to right his ship during the second debate, still slipped by 2 points, according to Quinnipiac. This surprises me. However, I imagine that the difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

Pete Buttigieg lost a statistically insignificant 1 point. The good news for him is that Quinnipiac now has him trailing Harris for fourth place by only 2 points.

Here is how the top five rank in this post-debate survey:

Biden 32 percent
Warren 21 percent
Sanders 14 percent
Harris 7 percent
Buttigieg 5 percent

The worst news for Harris might be that she has the support of only 1 percent of black Democrats, according to Quinnipiac. Biden has the support of 47 percent of this group. Cory Booker registers at zero percent. These numbers seem hard to believe, but if they are accurate, and if they persist, I have difficulty seeing how Harris can secure the nomination.

Sanders and Warren are the second and third choices, respectively, of the black voters in Quinnipiac’s survey. So even if Biden implodes, Harris will have her work cut out when it comes to the black vote.

Morning Consult also conducted a post-debate survey. Its findings are quite similar to Quinnipiac’s, except that Morning Consult has Sanders in second place (with 19 percent) and Warren in third (15 percent). Here are its rankings of the five leading candidates:

Biden 33 percent
Sanders 19 percent
Warren 15 percent
Harris 9 percent
Buttigieg 6 percent

Marianne Williamson didn’t register in this poll, either. I think it’s time for her to land that big talk show host job, and for a dozen or so other no-hopers to return to their day jobs.

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