Monday, July 1, 2019

Scoring performances from the first Democratic debates

Debate scores
Debate performance did some pre- and post-debate polling. Here’s a result from 538’s Significant Digits email.

17 percent
Kamala Harris had a great debate, according to the few polls we’ve gotten so far. The junior senator from California jumped from 8 percent going into the first debate on Wednesday to nearly 17 percent after she appeared on stage on Thursday night, according to Morning Consult polling conducted in partnership with FiveThirtyEight. Much of that added support came at the expense of Joe Biden, with whom Harris tussled in the second night of the Democratic debates. Polling Morning Consult did for Politico showed a similar trend. There are 217 days until the Iowa Caucuses. [FiveThirtyEight, Politico]

Here are a few more highlights from the results in The First Democratic Debate In Five Charts.

Who overperformed?

Going into the debates, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both had favorability ratings of more than 50 percent among likely Democratic voters. And after their respective debates, they came out even stronger — respondents who watched the debates gave them the two highest average ratings on performance, according to our poll with Morning Consult.

The debates were also big for some lesser-known candidates, such as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. He went into the debates with a favorability rating just under 30 percent, and respondents rated his debate performance highly, which suggests that it’s more than just his existing fans who thought he did well (as you can see in the chart above). Sen. Cory Booker also had a strong debate performance. But the two candidates currently leading in the polls, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, both underperformed.

Who gained the most Twitter followers?

[I’ve kind of arbitrarily just listed those candidates with increases over 30,000.]

Change in Twitter followers from the afternoon before each candidate debated to the afternoon after their debate night NO. OF TWITTER FOLLOWERS
2 Harris 2,729,541 59,588
1 Castro 220,987 54,886
2 Buttigieg 1,160,106 40,209
2 Yang 404,329 39,363
2 Williamson 2,621,444 31,246
1 Warren 2,673,496 30,240

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