Memo: How The First Debates Changed The Race

By the Data For Progress and YouGov Blue

Executive Summary

● Democratic voters do not share pundits’ view that the most “electable” candidate is the most moderate. Clear majorities of Democratic voters value honesty, knowledge, and leadership most—with less than half valuing “willingness to compromise.”

● Democratic voters prioritize turning out voters who stayed home in 2016 over persuading Trump voters.

● After the debate, Democratic voters’ preferences for who they “wished to be the nominee” and who they “predicted to be the nominee” moved closer together, indicating an increasing belief that a variety of candidates can win the nomination.

● Senator Kamala Harris saw the biggest gains after the debate, across various questions.