Voters Have High Hopes for Harris in Second Debate

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the 25th Essence Festival in New Orleans, on July 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(CN) – Ahead of the second Democratic debates, voters’ expectations for California Sen. Kamala Harris have risen, as confidence in former Vice President Joe Biden has dipped, according to a new poll Tuesday.

After Harris’ headline-making debut at last month’s first Democratic debate, where she criticized Biden’s history of not supporting busing during school desegregation, the latest Morning Consult/Politico poll shows the share of Democrats who expect Harris to perform the best during the second Democratic debate Wednesday hosted by CNN in Detroit rose 10 points this month.

Biden continues to lead the pack among the 20 Democratic candidates who have qualified to participate in the race, but voters’ confidence he will perform the best among the liberal presidential contenders has dipped from 33% of voters surveyed ahead of last month’s debate to 27% of surveyed this past week.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren picked up two points, with 14% of Democrats believing she’ll perform the best in this week’s debate, while Sen. Bernie Sanders is down one point with 12% of voters saying he will lead the debates.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg lost four points, dropping from 8% to 4% of Democrats believing he’ll outperform his peers this week.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke poses for a photo with supporters following a campaign rally, Friday, June 28, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker both maintained the same level of voter confidence in their debate performances, with 3% and 2% of voters believing they will top this week’s debates, respectively.

The poll also found Democratic voters are more interested in hearing candidates discuss the Affordable Care Act than “Medicare for All” – 63% of Democrats said it’s more important for candidates to discuss the health care law enacted when Biden was vice president than the 55% of Democrats who want to hear about single-payer proposals, according to the poll.

Democrats also want candidates to discuss climate change, with 64% of voters saying it was an important issue. Likewise, 70% of voters want the candidates to prioritize discussing the treatment of child migrants at the border.

In another poll by the University of Texas also released Tuesday, hometown hero O’Rourke leads the 2020 primary field in his state by three points over Biden. He’s seen a significant uptick since last month’s poll of Democratic Texas voters, jumping from 15 to 27% and jumping into first place among liberal voters.

But O’Rourke also holds the strongest lead over President Donald Trump in the Lone Star State, winning the support of 48.8% of voters compared to 37.6% of Texas voters who want Trump re-elected.

%d bloggers like this: