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Biden's support from black voters cut in half: poll

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 3, 2019 - Duration: 01:50s

Biden's support from black voters cut in half: poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the early front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has lost support among African-Americans after taking heat on racial issues during the party’s first debate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Jonah Green reports.

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Biden's support from black voters cut in half: poll

Remember last week’s Democratic debate hosted by NBC?

Where it looked like Senator Kamala Harris mopped the floor with former Vice President Joe Biden?

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll out Wednesday finds that....it was pretty bad.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Reuters polling editor Chris Kahn: KAHN: “Joe Biden is still the frontrunner, he still leads all the other candidates in support for the Democratic nomination.

But we have seen his numbers drop considerably over the past month.

Last month about 30 percent of Democrats and Independents said they would support him for the nomination.

That's now down to 22 percent.

So he's lost about 8 percentage points." The poll also found that support for Biden among African Americans, a critical Democratic voting bloc, was cut in half, with about two out of 10 saying they'd back him.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Reuters polling editor Chris Kahn: "At same time Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California, she's the one who benefited the most in the past month.

Her numbers are up about four percentage points." It was this exchange that catapulted the senator from California, when she criticized Biden for opposing mandatory busing to integrate schools in the 1970s and for his cooperation with segregationists while he was a young senator.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) U.S. SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS, SAYING: "Do you agree that today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America?" SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "I did not oppose busing in America!" Biden has since defended his civil rights record and said Harris mischaracterized his positions.

The poll found Harris now the third most popular candidate, behind Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, with a slight uptick for Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren as well.

Still, uncertainty abounds.

Twenty-one percent of all Democrats and Independents said they did not know yet which candidate they would support.

And among those who had picked a candidate, only about 35 percent said they were “completely certain” they had made up their minds.

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