People are still praising Bill de Blasio's debate performance. Voters don’t seem to care.

Bill de Blasio.
(Image credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Some of the standouts from the first round of the Democratic primary debates — namely Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Housing Secretary Julián Castro — have seen some significant jumps in early polls. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who many considered to be a pleasant surprise during the debate, hasn't been so fortunate.

De Blasio's decision to run for president was met with eye-rolls and sighs, especially among his New York constituents — "disdain for de Blasio seems to unite New Yorkers from across the political spectrum," writes Reihan Salam in The Atlantic — but the mayor showed up in Miami ready to roll and the response from pundits wasn't half bad.

Chris Matthews called him a surprising "heavyweight." Meanwhile, Joe Scarborough dubbed him a "street fighter" and Vox declared him one of the night's four winners. In the same Atlantic article, Salam admits that de Blasio "distinguished himself with eagerness to interrupt his fellow presidential aspirants and to stake out the most leftward position available on any given issue." For example, on the first night of the debates, only Warren and de Blasio raised their hands when the candidates were asked if they would give up their private insurance for a government-run plan.

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Still, none of this means de Blasio has any "staying power," Salam notes. Indeed, just one week after the debate, a Quinnipiac poll surveyed 554 voters. How many of them voted for the seemingly upstart mayor? Zilch. De Blasio was similarly bereft of support in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, but did manage to hit the 1 percent threshold in an Economist/YouGov tally. Progress?

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.