Democratic candidates closed out the month of July with their second set of debates in Detroit. And after speaking with more than 100 of Florida’s political bigwigs, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden emerged as the biggest winners.
A whopping 68 percent of respondents to our informal survey said Warren won the first night of the debate. Biden topped the second night, with 35 percent saying he was top dog.
Those debates were on two nights, given the huge size of the Democratic presidential field. Each night saw a different group of 10 candidates taking the stage.
Warren’s numbers remained consistent atop the two major political parties, with 67 percent of Republican Influencers saying Warren won the first night, along with 70 percent of Democrats.
Biden saw more of a split, with 44 percent of Republicans thinking he won the second night. For Democrats, that number was just 25 percent.
Indeed, Biden did not come out on top among Influencers from his own party. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey did better among Democratic respondents, with 41 percent saying he topped the field on the second night.
As for the big winners across both nights, Warren and Biden again led with 30 percent and 19 percent, respectively. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii came in third at 10 percent, followed by Booker at 8 percent, “nobody” at 7 percent, and President Donald Trump at 6 percent.
Like Biden, Gabbard was benefited by significantly more Republican support than Democratic. Among Republican Influencers, 19 percent said she topped all candidates, while just 2 percent of Democrats said the same.
Influencers also said Warren was one of the winners of the first Democratic debate, which took place in Miami. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California was named another winner of the first debate, thanks to a headline-grabbing exchange with Biden over the issue of busing.
But Biden seemed more prepared to handle attacks in the second round of debates. “Joe Biden won overall because he took incoming fire from every side and did not fall flat on his face,” said one Influencer.
As for who might be the first candidate to drop out of the race, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio led with 23 percent of respondents selecting him. Tied for second were former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at 21 percent.
But one respondent was much more adamant about who needs to go. “The candidate pool is diluted, and a good ten of them should drop out to consolidate resources.”
The Florida Influencer Poll is conducted monthly and solicits opinions on current events from the state’s top consultants, fundraisers, PR mavens, lobbyists and staffers.
Those who fancy themselves as “Influencers” and want to take part in future polls can send an email to Peter@FloridaPolitics.com.
The Influencers who took part in this survey are:
Tom Alte, Jason Altmire, Phil Ammann, Mario Bailey, Tim Baker, Albert Balido, Geoffrey Becker, Wayne Bertsch, David Biddle, Taylor Patrick Biehl, Barney Bishop, Katie Bohnett, Lydia-Claire Brooks, Yolanda Cash-Jackson, Brad Coker, Gus Corbella, Javi Correoso, Husein Cumber, Karen Cyphers, Jim Daughton, Pablo Diaz, Victor DiMaio, John Dowless, Pete Dunbar, Barry Edwards, Trip Farmer, Cesar Fernandez, Mark Ferrulo, Matt Florell, Towson Fraser, Don Gaetz, Steve Geller, Julia Gill-Woodward, Trimmel Gomes, Pamela Goodman, Jennifer Green, Joel Greenberg, Joe Gruters, Rich Heffley, Max Herrle, Lee Hinkle, Jim Horne, Lila Jaber, Nick Janovsky, David Johnson, Rob Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Eric Jotkoff, Fred Karlinsky, Joshua Karp, Micah Ketchel, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Jackie Lee, Shannon Love, John Lux, Beth Matuga, Stephanie McClung, James Miller, Joe Mobley, Tim Nungesser, Meredith O’Rourke, Jenna Paladino, Alex Patton, Darryl Paulson, Juan Penalosa, Fred Piccolo, Ron Pierce, Ben Pollara, Samantha Pollara, Evan Power, Noah Pransky, Cissy Proctor, Bert Ralston, Susannah Randolph, Marc Reichelderfer, Franco Ripple, Ashley Ross, Evan Ross, Scott Ross, Preston Rudie, Elnatan Rudolph, Ron Sachs, April Schiff, Adam Smith, Eileen Stuart, Allison Tant, Herbie Thiele, Cory Tilley, Christian Ulvert, Jenn Ungru, Steven Vancore, Claire VanSusteren, Ashley Walker, Screven Watson, John Wehrung, Christian Weiss, Susie Wiles, Alan Williams, Gregory Wilson, Michael Worley and Skylar Zander.