Political Pulse: Candidates Take the Stage for Third Democratic Debate

Political Pulse - Week 2

Powered by first-party, self-declared data, Fluent’s Political Pulse offers insight into the hot button issues that matter most to US adults today. Interacting with nearly 1 million Americans daily across our owned and operated portfolio of sites, we leverage our real-time survey capabilities to better understand voter sentiment and behavior. All results are weighted based on US Census for gender, age, and income to help ensure overall representativeness.

This Week in Politics

29% of Americans tuned in last Thursday night for the September Democratic Debate. Among those who watched, 22% thought former Vice President Joe Biden had the best night, followed by Bernie Sanders (13%) and Beto O’Rourke (12%). Though Julián Castro has come under fire for his criticism of Biden on the topic of health care, 13% of Republicans who watched believe he had a good night. Castro received the lowest ranking among Democrats at 6%. Post-debate, only 36% of Democrats are very confident in this field of Democratic candidates to take the presidency, while 37% of Republicans are not confident at all. Despite concerns over the Democratic contenders, just over a third of Americans (34%) want to see Trump re-elected in 2020.

Americans still believe that gun violence is the top issue facing the US right now. Beto O’Rourke has taken an impassioned stance on the issue of gun control in the aftermath of the mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. On Thursday night, O’Rourke exclaimed from the debate stage, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47! We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” Though the topic of gun control tends to divide Americans along party lines, 67% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans who watched the debates were in support of O’Rourke’s rallying cry for a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons.

You can find more learnings from this week’s survey here. Check back weekly for new data on the most pressing political issues leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

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