Here’s the first real poll I’ve seen on the Democratic debate
Tuesday night.

By “real,” I mean one in which respondents were selected randomly, not polls open to any who log or call in. Bernie Sanders won most of those. I don’t dismiss those. They are a measure of the significant enthusiasm he’s built in his base. But it’s not a scientific reading.

From Talking Points Memo:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the first Democratic presidential debate by a 23-point margin over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), according to an online poll for NBC News released on Friday.

The SurveyMonkey nationwide poll, which began as soon as the debate and ended Thursday morning, showed Clinton did the “best job” according to 56 percent of respondents while Sanders did the “best job” according to 33 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee earned a “best job” rating of 1 percent.

This will not sit well with the Bernie contingent that has been beating me up on my column this week and on Facebook for saying, in what I thought the nicest way possible, that I preferred Hillary Clinton over Sanders as the Democratic nominee. I like Bernie fine. And if he’s the nominee, he’s got my happy vote. I won’t stay home or seek a third party candidate, as some of his most ardent people are saying they’ll do should too many ignoramuses like me support Clinton. I also thought he did well in the debate Tuesday, helping himself as well as Clinton by saying with a magnanimity missing among many of his supporters that he was tired of talking about her e-mail. I do think — much as I agree on the issue — that he could place a slight bit less emphasis on attacking the billionaires. It’s an issue. Just not the only issue.

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