Warren Rises, Harris Falls in Pair of Polls

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes the stage before addressing supporters at a rally Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

(CN) – Amid President Donald Trump’s consistently low approval ratings, eyes turn to the first Democratic presidential contest in Iowa where Elizabeth Warren continues to pick up momentum as support for Kamala Harris has taken a nosedive since her breakout in July’s debate, according to new polling released Wednesday.

In a survey of Democratic Iowa voters taken by progressive group Focus on Rural America just after the Houston debate, former Vice President Joe Biden is neck-and-neck with Massachusetts Sen. Warren at 25% and 23% support, respectively. Biden regained a slight lead over Warren after July polling showed him at 17% to Warren’s 20%, though they are both in a statistical tie due to the poll’s margin of error.

Most notable about the poll is the precipitous drop in support for California Sen. Harris, who plunged from 18% in July to just 5%. Harris shared a three-way tie for first place in July but has quickly fallen out of favor with Iowa Democrats according to the poll.

The rise of Biden’s numbers and the fall of Harris’ could be attributed to their campaigning in the state. Biden has visited the Hawkeye State three times since the beginning of August, while Harris’ campaign stop this week represents her first visit to Iowa in more than a month.

Harris rose in the polls following the first presidential candidate debate in Miami where she forced Biden to defend his voting record on school busing desegregation in the 1970s. Although Harris had less physical presence in the state than Biden, Advertising Analytics data shows she spent around $450,000 on TV advertising between Aug. 8 to Sept. 3.

As Biden has regained a foothold in Iowa, Warren is also making strides in both the state and nationally. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll released Wednesday, Warren continues to be within arm’s reach of front-runner Biden.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Iowa State Fair, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

While Biden picked up 31% support among Democratic voters, a 5-point jump from July, Warren received 25% support, up from 19%, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders remains in third. Harris, who was tied for third with Sanders in July, fell from 13% to 5%.

As Warren has picked up support, she has also picked up more enthusiasm for her campaign. Among those surveyed, 35% said they were enthusiastic about Warren, 12 points more than Biden at 23% and 10 points more than Sanders’ 25%. Sanders is also facing diminishing support, followed by a shakeup of his staff and the loss of the endorsement of the Working Families Party to Warren on Monday.

Warren’s increased popularity could be seen at her rally in New York on Monday where more than 20,000 people showed up to hear the candidate speak. Crowd sizes are becoming increasingly important in the presidential race, especially given President Trump’s use of them in the 2016 election to build his support.

The president, always quick to tout the size of crowds at his rallies, was dismissive of Warren’s NYC rally.

“Anybody that can’t get people standing in the middle of Manhattan in the most densely populated area of the country – anybody could do that,” the president said to a group of reporters Tuesday. “I think more Democrats should do it. I get these crowds in areas that nobody’s ever seen crowds before. Pretty amazing.”

President Trump made his comments in the face of increasingly bad approval numbers from multiple polls. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday found his approval rating at 43%. According to the survey, just 37% said they would vote to re-elect him, while 53% said they plan to vote for someone else.

The Focus on Rural America poll was conducted among 500 registered Iowa Democrats between Sept. 14-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll surveyed 506 Democratic primary voters between Sept. 13-16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.36 percentage points.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll interviewed 1,994 registered voters between Sept. 13-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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