At the second Democratic presidential debate at the end of July, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) attacked California Sen. Kamala Harris, sending her plunging in the polls immediately afterward. As of Tuesday, Gabbard is still being excluded from the next Democratic debate, and one might wonder why.
At that debate on July 31, Gabbard turned to Harris and said:
I want to bring the conversation back to the broken criminal justice system that is disproportionately negatively impacting black and brown people all across this country today. Now Senator Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she’ll be a prosecutor president.
But I’m deeply concerned about this record. There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence — she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California.
The Nation reported on August 20:
While Harris experienced a major polling bump following her break-out first debate, during which she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden on busing, she’s been slipping ever since the second debate in July. In the latest poll from CNN and SSRS released on Tuesday, she’s down to 5 percent support, a 12-point drop from a post-debate June poll that had her at 17 percent support.
Back to Gabbard: Fivethirtyeight.com’s Nate Silver noted on Monday:
Gabbard’s campaign has claimed that she’s received at least 2 percent support in more than 20 polls released since the second debate, but only two of those surveys are from pollsters sanctioned by the DNC. Among her campaign’s complaints are that the DNC’s rules about which polls will be counted aren’t very consistent: Some highly-rated polling organizations were left off the DNC’s list, and some surveys were excluded despite being sponsored by notable media organizations. For example, state-level polls conducted by online pollster YouGov on behalf of CBS News have been counted — which is approved by the DNC — while national YouGov polls sponsored by The Economist have not.
Independent journalist Michael Tracey, appearing on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, opined:
As I mentioned in an article that I wrote this week in “RealClearPolitics,” Gabbard has gotten over the required polling threshold in two separate polls, in two separate early primary states. “The Boston Globe” is a newspaper with the widest circulation in New Hampshire, and “The Post” and “Courier” is the newspaper with the widest circulation in South Carolina. Gabbard has gotten placed at two percent or more in polls published by those two newspapers, but the DNC in its bizarre, mysterious infinite wisdom, has decreed, again, arbitrarily, that those polls are not approved.