Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Tim Pierce
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Tim Pierce photo. Tim Pierce

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s popularity surged after last week’s Democratic debates, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

The poll found former Vice President Joseph Biden has retained his front-runner status with 32 percent of Democrats and independents who “‘lean Democratic” surveyed, but Warren’s support rose from 15 percent to 21 percent since the July 29 poll.

The Quinnipiac poll also showed that California Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., whose support surged to 20 percent after the first Democratic debates last month, dropped to 7 percent after the latest set of debates.

The poll said support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders rose slightly, from 11 percent to 14 percent.

“Biden survives, Warren thrives and Harris dives as debate number two shakes up the primary,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Malloy said Warren’s “policy heavy presentation” and Biden’s “ ability to handle the heat from all corners” put those Democratic candidates on top.

The poll also showed South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg winning the support of 5 percent of the respondents, while New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke each garnered 2% support.

The poll found that “very liberal Democrats” went 40 percent for Warren, 20 percent for Sanders, 19 percent for Biden and 7 percent for Harris, an indication Warren is eating into Biden’s progressive base of supporters.

“Somewhat liberal” Democrats put Biden on top, with 28 percent supporting the former vice president. Those Democrats went 20 percent for Warren, 14 percent for Sanders and 10 percent for Harris.

But the poll showed Biden is also the most popular candidate among “moderate/conservative Democrats,” who went 43 percent for Biden, 11 percent for Warren, 9 percent for Sanders, and 4 percent each for Harris and Buttigieg.

Forty-nine percent of Democrats also believe Biden has the best chance of beating President Donald Trump in the general election. Twelve percent of the respondents said Sanders could beat Trump, 9 percent said Warren was the best choice to defeat the president, and 6% favored Harris.

The electability issue has split Democratic voters, the poll showed.

While 50 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners said they prefer a presidential candidate who is “most electable,” 46 percent said they prefer a candidate who most shares their views on issues.

The poll was conducted from Aug.  1 – 5, and surveyed 807 Democrats and independent voters leaning Democratic. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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  1. Bernie has the ground game and by far the most individual donors and that kids will translate into a win despite what the unreliable polls want to promote.

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