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The number of Democratic primary voters who pick Kamala Harris as their first choice for president doubled after the first Democratic debates, vaulting the California senator into a third-place tie in a new poll.
The latest Morning Consult survey found Harris increased her standing to 12 percent in the poll, which was taken after the debate ended through Friday, up 6 percentage points over the previous week. Harris’ upswing came after she confronted Joe Biden over his history opposing school busing for desegregation, a dramatic moment that dominated news coverage afterward.
Harris hadn’t moved much since entering the race on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — while two rival Democrats, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren passed Harris. After the debate, Harris pulled ahead of Buttigieg and into a tie with Warren.
Harris’ surge, which also netted her more than $2.5 million in donations as the second-quarter deadline approaches, came largely at Biden’s expense, the poll found. The former vice president, who maintains a large lead over the field at 33 percent, took the biggest post-debate hit, dropping 5 points after the Miami exchange over race and busing to end desegregation.
Sen. Bernie Sanders held steady in second at 19 percent, but the poll found he was the only major candidate to see a measurable drop in his favorability, which fell 7 points, to 67 percentage, since the previous Morning Consult survey.