CNN Poll: Kamala Harris Won VP Debate
October 8, 2020 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: 2020 Election Tags: VP DebateVice President DebateMike PenceKamala Harris2020

CNN Poll: Kamala Harris Won VP Debate

The Vice Presidential Debate was widely seen as a step up from the recent and messy Presidential Debate.

A majority of vice-presidential debate watchers thought Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) outperformed her political opponent, Vice President Mike Pence, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by CNN-SSRS, revealed that 59% of registered voters who watched the debate on Wednesday night believed that Harris won, while 38% said that Pence did the best job.

The results of the poll indicated a widespread gender gap, as 69% of women who tuned in thought Harris outperformed the vice-president, and 30% thought Pence had won. Among male viewers, 48% backed the California senator, while 46% sided with Pence—a near tie.

Although the respondents tended to be skewed Democratic according to CNN, Harris’s overall win was made up of 38% of Democrats, 29% of Republicans and 33% of independents.

Harris’s favorability also jumped from 56% who said they had a positive view of her before the debate to 63%, while Pence’s favorability remained stable at 41%.

The first poll released after the vice-presidential matchup also found that most watchers will not change their minds about whom they’ll vote for on Election Day, at 55%. CNN noted that those who said the debate changed their minds decided to back Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

While Harris outperformed Pence by a massive margin, 65% of respondents said Pence is qualified to serve as president and 63% said the same for Harris.

In a CNN poll conducted after the 2016 vice-presidential debate, 48% of debate watchers said Pence won, while 42% said the same for then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

The second debate is expected to take place next week between Biden and President Donald Trump, but uncertainty has sparked after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday that the two candidates will be in separate, remote locations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump responded to the shift in format by refusing to participate saying “not going to waste my time on a virtual debate.”

The CNN-SRSS poll contacted 609 registered voters after the debate, with a margin of error of 5.3% points.

Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.

Image: Reuters