Bernie Sanders’ hoarse voice during the third Democratic debate in Houston did not prevent his message from attracting Latinos registered to vote in 2020. A national poll by Univision News, after the debate, found that the senator is now favored among Hispanic registered voters by two points (in a virtual tie with former vice president Joe Biden).
Sanders and Biden, with 27% and 25% respectively, also emerged as the candidates who performed best in the debate. Elizabeth Warren follows closely with 23%, according to the poll conducted in partnership with Latino Decisions and North Star Opinion. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.8%.
When voters were asked who they would cast their ballot for, Sanders polled two points ahead ofBiden (21% to 19%), and five points above the 16% he obtained after the first Democratic debate in June, when he lost ground.
In the exclusive poll conducted between September 13 and 16, Senator Elizabeth Warren also made progress among Hispanic voters, garnering the support of 15% of voters, four points above her showing in a previous survey and more than double the seven percent she had before the first televised debate in June.
Another of Thursday's winners was former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, who almost doubled his showing among Latinos prior to the debate: from 6% to 11%, potentially giving his flagging campaign a much needed second. 64% of respondents said his plan to buy back military-style assault rifles, after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, nudged them to vote for the Democratic Party.
On the other hand, Senator Kamala Harris, who led the polls after the June debate with 23%, saw her advantage slip away badly after the third debate, falling to only four percent support.
Latino voters also believe that Sanders would do best in an eventual debate with President Donald Trump (21%), compared with 16% for Biden. In fact, according to respondents, former secretary Julián Castro would be the second best able to debate Trump, with 18%.
The latest poll shows once again how debates can shake up voter preferences, however on this occasion the September 12 encounter, which first brought together the main candidates on the same night, saw Sanders and Biden consolidate their leadership.
The survey also asked Hispanic voters about the exchanges between Castro and Biden. After the third debate, the former Secretary of Housing was criticized by those who considered that he was too aggressive towards the former vice president. However, 64% of Hispanic respondents said he was right to "highlight inconsistencies in Biden's plans" on immigration and healthcare. They also thought Castro has the best plan to carry out immigration reform.
Univision News polls have shown that health costs are the main concern for Hispanic voters, so this survey explored how the candidates' discussion about healthcare was perceived. Once again, Sanders came out on top.
Of those polls, 29% thought that the Vermont senator has the best plan to lower medical costs, compared to 18% for Biden and Warren. The Sanders ‘Medicare for all’ plan with guaranteed medical coverage was better received than Medicare with the option of keeping private health insurance (70% versus 64%).