Politics

Democrats’ Debate Performance Left Voters ‘Nervous,’ Poll Finds

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The 10th Democratic primary debate in South Carolina made Democratic voters “nervous” more than anything else, according to a poll from CBS News.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said the debate performances made them feel nervous about the current pool of candidates, but 42 percent responded they were optimistic. Along racial lines, a majority of white voters felt nervous and a majority of black voters were optimistic, CBS reports.

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 25: Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tom Steyer speak after the Democratic presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. Seven candidates qualified for the debate, hosted by CBS News and Congressional Black Caucus Institute, ahead of South Carolina’s primary in four days. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 25: Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tom Steyer speak after the Democratic presidential primary debate (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images).

The numbers come after a debate in which candidates frequently talked over one another and moderators were widely criticized for not keeping the candidates in check. (RELATED: Bloomberg Says He ‘Bought’ Democratic House Majority)

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders maintained his lead in the reaction polls, however, with 26 percent of viewers saying he made the best case that he could beat President Donald Trump, followed closely by former Vice President Joe Biden at 21 percent. (RELATED: We Watched The 10th Democratic Debate So You Don’t Have To)


Pollsters asked voters to react to the debate based on six options: nervous, optimistic, excited, pessimistic, inspired, or uninspired.

Forty-seven percent went with nervous; 42 percent said they were optimistic; 25 percent were inspired; 25 percent were excited; 16 percent said they were pessimistic and 13 percent were uninspired.

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Those polled said the stand-out moment of the night was when Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar called out her competitors saying that if they continue to tear each other apart, Trump will win the election.