Kamala Harris' appeal soars as Joe Biden's shrivels after their contentious Democratic debate

Democratic presidential candidates former vice president Joe Biden, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.Democratic presidential candidates former vice president Joe Biden, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.Brynn Anderson/AP Images

  • Sen. Kamala Harris is seeing a big boost in the polls following her contentious exchange at last week's Democratic debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, whose approval rating has simultaneously taken a hit. 
  • The percentage of likely Democratic primary voters who'd be "satisfied" with Harris as their party's 2020 nominee jumped 13 points from 51% to 64% among those who know who she is, according to INSIDER polling.
  • Among respondents who said they'd be satisfied with Biden as nominee, Harris has exploded in popularity.
  • Among Harris' backers, Biden's stature has shrunk overnight. 
  • Biden's satisfaction rate simultaneously dropped from 65% to 56%, while those who said they'd be "unsatisfied" with him grew from about 18% to 25%. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sen. Kamala Harris saw a big boost in the polls following her contentious exchange at last week's Democratic debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, whose approval rating has simultaneously taken a hit. 

The percentage of likely Democratic primary voters who said they'd be "satisfied" with Harris as their party's 2020 nominee jumped 13 points from 51% to 64% among those who know who she is (which is 59% of respondents), according to INSIDER polling.

The first figure averages Harris' polling over five polls taken between May 17 and June 22 through INSIDER's recurring 2020 primary tracker. The second is from the poll taken between June 28 and 29. The second night of primary debates, which both Harris and Biden participated in, was held on June 27. 

Read more: How the INSIDER 2020 Democratic primary tracker works

Meanwhile, Biden's satisfaction rating among those aware of him (83% of respondents) dropped from 62% over the previous month to 56% in the latest survey, and those who said they'd be "unsatisfied" with him grew from about 18% to 25%.

Harris made perhaps the most memorable impression on the debate stage during two nights of sparring between Democrats last week when she criticized Biden's record on race relations. This had a number of significant impacts, not the least of which is it appealed the the fifth of respondents who'd be satisfied with both Harris and Biden. 

Among respondents who'd be satisfied with Biden as nominee, Harris has grown in popularity. In those preceding polls, only 40% of those satisfied with Biden as nominee would also be satisfied with Harris. In the most recent poll, that popped to 48%, making Harris the single most likely candidate Biden supporters also would favor. 

Biden's stature has also shrunk among Harris backers. In the weeks preceding the debates, 68% of those who'd be happy with Harris as nominee also would be good with Biden. In the most recent survey, which has a small sample size and should be treated as preliminary, that's down to 59%, a nine-point drop. 

Specifically, Harris took issue with Biden's past opposition to federally mandated busing as part of the nation's attempts to integrate schools. She also said Biden's recent controversial comments touting his past collaboration with segregationist senators was personally "hurtful" to her.

Read more: Kamala Harris had her biggest day of fundraising after attacking Joe Biden's record on race during the Democratic debate

"There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bussed to school every day," Harris said. "That little girl was me."

Biden's recent comments on race and controversial comments about girls and women on the campaign trail made headlines in the weeks leading up to the debates. 

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income.

The new poll was collected June 28 to 29, 2019, had a total of 1,172 respondents, 448 of whom were registered Democrats, and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.02 percentage points with a 95% confidence level. See this page for more details about methodology

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