Bernie Sanders Gets 5-Point Bounce After Democratic Debate

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. [crscore]Bernard Sanders[/crscore] is enjoying a bump in the polls following his performance during the first Democratic presidential debate.

The Democratic candidates clashed for the first time in Las Vegas Oct. 13, facing off on issues ranging from gun rights to the Black Lives Matter movement. Almost a third of registered Democrats say they watched some or all of the debate

A telephone poll conducted by CNN/ORC from Oct. 14-17 found Sanders jumped five points since mid-September. The self-declared socialist is now polling at 29 percent.

But former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton still commands a substantial lead over Sanders at 45 percent. Although 60 percent of Democratic voters say Clinton put in the best performance of the night, her headline rating has not improved.

Vice President Joe Biden, who has not entered the race, polled at 18 percent while former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb polled at a meager 1 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Gov. of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee both polled less than 1 percent.

The number of Democrats who support Biden getting into the race dropped from 53 percent in August to 47 percent in October.

If Biden declines to run, support for a Clinton nomination will rise to 56 percent against 33 percent for Sanders, according to the poll.

Sanders made by far the most spending pledges during the debate with an estimate from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation putting the figure at a staggering $1 trillion.

The NTUF found Sanders spoke for a little over 28 minutes and managed to average $41.7 billion of giveaways per minute.

O’Malley is the next biggest spender with promises racking up $77.5 billion. Clinton came in third with seven policy pledges that will cost $51.6 billion per year.

Chafee is the only Democratic candidate that didn’t make any promises that could be quantified.

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