According to a new Morning Consult poll, Joe Biden is losing black voters’ support after his performance on the debate stage.
The poll was conducted among 16,599 individuals and found that Biden’s overall support dropped by seven points. His support among black voters dropped by eight points.
Meanwhile, Kamala Harris is rising in the polls. Since the first round of debates, Harris gained eight points, surpassing Elizabeth Warren to be the third-highest polling Democrat in the race.
Harris is still trailing behind Bernie Sanders by five points.
In case you missed it, during the first round of 2020 Democratic debates, Biden and Harris got into a spat over forced busing. Harris told Biden, “I do not believe you are a racist.” She then proceeded to hint at the idea that Biden is, in fact, a racist. Prior to the debate, Biden was talking about his record of bipartisanship. He talked about how he had to get along with segregationists (to his credit, he made clear they were terrible people) in order to get legislation passed for the greater good of the country.
Harris was apparently offended by the notion that Biden would “praise” segregationists, taking his comments partially out of context, and has used the exchange to her advantage.
During the debate, Harris said “I also believe—and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing.”
Yet, a 1973 Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans favored school integration but few people, both black and white, thought busing would be the correct solution.
Regardless of attitudes on forced busing, Harris’s point in this on-stage quarrel was likely not to promote federally-enforced busing, but to pander to black voters that Biden once had. It seems to have worked.