Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was the focus of tough questions and even tougher comments at the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, and, according to a new poll, his popularity took a hit as a result.
According to a Morning Consult poll conducted Thursday, Bloomberg’s net favorability rating plunged almost 20 points from 62% to 51% while his popularity among Democratic voters decreased by 3%, putting him just behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
As the poll notes, “It marks the first statistically significant decline in Bloomberg’s first-choice support since he entered the race in November.” (RELATED: CNN’s Van Jones: Democratic Debate Was ‘Disaster’ For ‘Titanic” Bloomberg)
The former mayor of New York City lost the most support among liberals and white voters while black voters’ perception of Bloomberg was unchanged.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren led off the debate with a stinging rebuke of Bloomberg. “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians, and no I’m not talking about [President] Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” she said.
It did not get better from there for the multi-billionaire businessman as he was asked about his non-disclosure agreements with several women who were allegedly subject to sexual harassment at his company. His Democratic opponents also asked Bloomberg about his past support of the controversial policing tactic “stop and frisk,” which many have criticized as unfairly targeting minorities. The mayor himself admitted the policy was aimed at young non-whites in a recently discovered audio tape.
Prior to joining the debate, the week had already gone poorly for Bloomberg. A resurfaced 2015 video showed him belittling farmers and factory workers whom he said didn’t possess enough “gray matter” to participate in the high-tech age. Bloomberg claimed he could “teach anyone” to be a farmer.
Bloomberg’s campaign also claimed in a political ad that the billionaire was the mayor who saw New York through the 9/11 terrorism crisis — when in fact it was Mayor Rudy Giuliani who did that.
The Morning Consult poll indicated that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders increased his support to 30% among Democratic voters. (RELATED: Sanders Opens Up Big National Lead In New Poll, Bloomberg Passes Biden For Second)
Bloomberg was the only debate candidate to see his net favorability affected in such a negative way, Morning Consult noted.
According to Morning Consult, “The survey was conducted among 2,609 voters who indicated they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state” and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%.