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Jill Biden, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at the DNC. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden gained ground with skeptical Democrats and a key slice of independents during the Democratic National Convention, a SurveyMonkey poll for Axios finds.

Why it matters: It’s so important for Biden to actually turn out Democrats. And the intensity of Trump voters is still stronger than Biden voters.

Biden gained 9 points in favorability with independents — and shaved 5 points off his negative ratings.

  • That's a major improvement with these potential swing voters. (Biden went from -20 to -6 net favorability with independents.)
  • But even in this improved posture, only 32% of independents view him favorably.
  • And just 7% of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 hold a favorable view of Biden.

Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris each got 5-point bumps with Democrats coming out of the convention, compared with polling a week earlier.

  • Biden's favorability is now at 85% among Democrats; Harris' is at 77%.

And here's a talker: SurveyMonkey (2,946 U.S. adults polled Thursday and Friday, with a ±3 point margin of error for the full sample) found a healthy slice of Ds actually preferred a virtual convention.

  • Among Democrats who watched or followed coverage, 44% said the virtual convention was better than a traditional, in-person convention.
  • 42% said it was about the same; just 12% say it was worse.

A pair of word clouds from the polling provides a snapshot of America's mood. The top three words Democrats used to describe the convention were "hopeful," "inclusive" and "united":

Graphic: SurveyMonkey

Republicans' top three words were "boring," "lies" and "joke":

Graphic: SurveyMonkey

55% of Democrats now say their party is united (+5 points from a week earlier).

  • The biggest shift came among self-described “moderate” Democrats, 63% of whom now say the party is united (+9).
  • "Very liberal" Democrats remain the least convinced the party can unify, with 31% predicting they'll still be divided in November.

Biden's gains with independents didn't extend to his party or his running mate:

  • SurveyMonkey says that among independents who watched the DNC or followed coverage, 11% have a more favorable view of the Democratic Party, 20% have a less favorable view, and 68% were unchanged.
  • Harris became a more familiar figure to American households over the course of the convention, but that didn't move her ratings with independents.

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted Aug. 20–21 among a national sample of 2,946 adults in the U.S. Respondents for this survey were selected from the 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.

Go deeper

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

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