Reason Roundup

Some Democrats Ditch Biden After First Round of 2020 Debates

Plus: protests in Hong Kong intensify, Antifa at it again, and more...


Harris up, Biden down, while Bernie gets mixed results. For many American voters, last week's debates between the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls served as a first introduction to candidates other than former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.). As a result, Biden's dominance among Democratic voters may have slipped.

Biden is still the top choice among Democratic primary voters, according to a new Morning Consult poll. But he's down five points in the organization's first post-debate survey, while Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) gained points.

The poll, conducted last Thursday night and Friday among 2,407 Democrats, found Harris—who raised $2 million in 24 hours with a t-shirt quoting her debate swipe at Biden—up 6 percent from Morning Consult's June 17-23 poll. In the latest poll, 12 percent of respondents now cast her as their first choice. (All those whoppers must have worked.)

Meanwhile, Biden went from top choice among 38 percent of respondents to top choice among 33 percent.

Numbers for Sanders stayed the same post-debate (19 percent say he's their top choice), but he did see a 7 percent drop in favorability, the largest favorability drop of any candidate. Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) also remained steady at 3 percent.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg each saw a drop of 1 percent (less than the poll's margin of error). Warren stands at 12 percent now, and "Mayor Pete" at 6 percent.

Polls this early don't tell us much about what will ultimately happen, but they do give us a hint at how liberal moods might shift with more exposure to the Democratic candidates.

"The post-debate survey has a 2-point margin of error, compared with a 1-point margin of error for the pre-debate survey conducted among 16,888 registered voters who indicated they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state," notes Morning Consult.


  • President Donald Trump is once again meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
  • Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are reaching a new intensity, as crowds "smashed the windows of Hong Kong's legislature on Monday [and] attempted to storm the building," reports CNBC. While "citizens of Hong Kong—a Special Administrative Region of China—rally on this day each year to demand for democracy," today's events follow a round of "recent protests, which started in early June, against the government's proposed extradition bill. The controversial law would pave the way for people arrested in Hong Kong to stand trial in mainland China."
  • Antifa is at it again.
  • Some deep cuts on Biden and busing.
  • Russians are rejecting American fashion.
  • Sigh: "The notion that the law should treat a fetus like a person is widely held in Alabama."