Warren Tops Democratic Pre-Presidential Debate Poll, Biden And Sanders Fall Behind

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren leads 11 other candidates in a new poll held ahead of the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night.

Warren, who has only led the Democratic primary in one national poll, scored 31 percent support in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

Politico reports the figure is up 12 points from pre-debate polling in September when 19 percent of voters thought she would perform the best at the debate.

According to the report, former Vice President Joe Biden came second in the poll and Senator Bernie Sanders trailed with 12 percent.

Here’s more from the report:

There’s also early signs that Democratic primary voters are growing tired of the debates. Tonight’s debate is the fourth of 12 planned debates.

Enthusiasm for the debate is still incredibly high among Democratic primary voters: 72 percent said they are motivated to watch tonight’s debate. But that’s a drop from 79 percent of Democratic primary voters who said they were motivated to watch September’s debate.

Voters also increasingly agree that the large debate stages are a bad idea. Twelve candidates will meet for Tuesday’s debate, two more than the September debate. The debate will be the largest televised presidential primary debate ever, regardless of party.

Sixty-three percent of Democratic primary voters think there are too many candidates on the debate stage.

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Candidates on the fringe of the debate stage have repeatedly complained about the process, arguing that the Democratic National Committee was unnaturally winnowing the field by increasing the threshold to participate in the debates. However, a slim majority of primary voters said in a previous POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that 10 candidates on the stage was too many, and more voters now believe that to be true with 12 candidates on tonight’s stage.

Should voters be growing weary of the numerous debates, it could stand to reason some of the Democratic presidential candidates could take more liberal approaches to their debate performances so they can generate enthusiasm.

Tuesday night’s debate is likely to include the ongoing feud between Sanders and Warren, who Sanders intended to disparage by calling her a “capitalist” (as opposed to being a socialist) and the controversy brewing around Biden and his son.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also recently called out former congressman Beto O’Rourke and statements he made about potentially stripping religious institutions of their tax-exempt status if they do not embrace same-sex marriage.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and former Obama administration official Julian Castro emerged from previous debates as top performers and will likely use their time on the debate stage to garner support for their campaigns.

Senator Kamala Harris, who has plummeted in the polls since Gabbard challenged her on her criminal justice record during the second debate, may look to reclaim some lost ground on Tuesday night.

Politico reports some candidates will be forced to capitalize on the debate to secure a place in the next debate in November.

“The next debate in November will likely feature less than 12 candidates after the DNC raised the thresholds to participate,” Politico reports. “However, the slightly higher requirements to get on stage are not expected to dramatically decrease the size of the stage. Eight candidates have already qualified, and the qualification deadline closes on Nov. 13.

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