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Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Harris boosting Biden ticket with key voters

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Kamala Harris is accomplishing what Joe Biden's campaign hoped she would in her first two days as his running mate — doing no harm, while exciting parts of the base with whom Biden needs the most help.

The big picture: Black women especially, but also Black men, Hispanics and Democrats and independents across the board say they are more likely to vote for Biden with Harris on the ticket, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.


  • White men, white non-college-grads and 65+ voters are the least impressed with her addition to the ticket, the survey finds.

What they're saying: "The initial, modestly positive take on Harris is sure to encourage Democrats," says SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen, calling it "a solid start for a party that needs tight unity to win back the White House."

  • Still, Cohen cautions against reading too much into the initial feedback, saying it could change with fresh Republican opposition and as voters get to know her better, and that "it’s far too early to see any clear impact on the campaign itself."

Between the lines: Liberal respondents have a more intensely favorable reaction to Harris than moderate and conservative Democrats, but the moderates and conservatives are more likely to say that her addition to the ticket increases their chances of voting for Biden.

  • This suggests those voters are relieved that Biden chose Harris rather than some of the other women Biden had considered.

By the numbers: At least for now, Harris has the highest net favorable rating of the four presidential and vice presidential candidates , at 36% favorable to 34% unfavorable (+2 percentage points).

  • That compares with Vice President Mike Pence (-5), Biden (-7) and Trump (-11). But Harris also is the least known, with 27% of respondents saying they don't yet know enough about her to form an opinion.
  • Among just Democrats, her net favorable rating (+65) is about the same as Biden's (+67)
  • White respondents overall said Harris makes them slightly less likely to vote for Biden (-7), but that includes Republican and independent voters who prefer Trump to Biden anyhow.
  • One area of relative weakness for Harris appears to be younger voters, who are effectively split over whether she makes them more or less likely to vote for Biden — though around six in 10 say it makes no difference.

What's next: Look for more from our poll tomorrow in AM.

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted August 11-12, 2020 among a national sample of 2,847 adults in the U.S. Respondents were selected from more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is +/- 3.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

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