On Friday, Morning Consult released a new national poll conducted before and after the Democratic primary debate, which was held in Nevada on Wednesday. The poll showed a staggering downward trajectory in “favorability” for billionaire late-entrant Michael Bloomberg.
Wednesday was the first time Bloomberg had qualified for a Democratic primary debate.
The poll, which was conducted between February 12-17 and February 20 “among 2,609 voters who indicated they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state,” shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) moving from 28% support to 30%, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) moving from 10% to 12%.
Former Vice President Joe Biden remained steady at 19% support before and after the debate, while former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) each lost one percentage point, 12% to 11% and 6% to 5%, respectively.
Bloomberg fell slightly outside the margin of error, moving from 20% support to 17% support before and after the debate. This may seem like a minor step down, but considering the timing coinciding with his first public challenge at the hands of the other Democratic candidates, it could be indicative of a more dire trend.
Looking further, the Morning Consult poll asked respondents about candidate favorability. For Bloomberg, the results were a disaster. In every demographic category except for one, his favorability plummeted following Wednesday’s debate performance.
Overall, Bloomberg’s net favorability change after the debate was -20 points.
Among men, it was -21 points; among women, it was -18; among liberals, it was -20; among moderates, it was -30; among African Americans, it was -16; and among whites, it was -20 points.
The only category where Bloomberg actually gained net favorability was among conservative “potential Democratic primary voters,” where he gained +2 points following the debate.
Eli Yokley of Morning Consult notes: “No other candidate saw notable change in net favorability, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana, whose back-and-forth was the other headline of the night.”
According to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Michael Bloomberg sits in third place with 15.2%, behind first place Sanders with 28.7% and second place Biden with 17.3% support.
That said, Bloomberg didn’t compete in Iowa, the first in the nation caucus, or in New Hampshire. The billionaire is not on the ballot in Saturday’s Nevada Caucuses or in South Carolina, which holds its primary on February 29.
The first time Bloomberg will appear on ballots is March 3, known as “Super Tuesday,” when 14 states, American Samoa, and “Democrats Abroad” will hold their primaries. States voting on March 3 include California, Texas, Massachusetts, and Virginia.
Since announcing his candidacy on November 24, Bloomberg has spent approximately “$452 million on advertising,” according to NPR.
In January alone, per FEC filings, Bloomberg spent $220,620,862. Aside from Tom Steyer, the other billionaire in the race who is self-funding his campaign, the closest any other candidate has come to Bloomberg in terms of spending is current front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders, who in January spent $26,534,551.