Democratic Debates Reveal Division… Will That Matter on Election Day?

Some people love politics. They can’t get enough of it. They watch the 24-hour cable news stations frequently. They tune in for all the debates, despite which party is debating.

Others enjoy politics enough to keep up with everything their party is involved in. They’ll watch the news channels periodically and their own party’s debates. But not the other guys’.

Still others only follow politics during election years. They’ll watch just enough media coverage to determine whom they’ll vote for. If they haven’t already decided.

I don’t know where you fit in this picture. But I’m sure you’re aware that the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates held their second round of debates last week. Some interesting things were said. Let’s take a look at them.

Eight Against Two?

Ten candidates debated each other the first night in Detroit. But sometimes it felt more like two versus eight.

Representing the liberal side of the equation were Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Considered more moderate were the other eight. They were Governor Steve Bullock and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. And former Representative John Delaney and former Governor John Hickenlooper

Plus former Representative Beto O’Rourke and Representative Tim Ryan. As well as Senator Amy Klobuchar and author/activist Marianne Williamson.

Divided They Stand… or Fall

Warren and Sanders were forceful regarding their liberal stands. They said their policies are necessary to provide America with answers to problems.

Others argued that the Green New Deal and “Medicare-for-All” will backfire. They’ll hand the 2020 presidential election to Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

Following the first debate of the second round, some critics stated the Democrats did nothing more than show how divided they are.

Others believe that division is not a significant factor yet. Due to the fact that the election is still 15 months away.

Attacks Get Personal

The second night of debates also featured 10 candidates. They included Senator Michael Bennet and former Vice President Joe Biden. Plus Senator Cory Booker and former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro.

Also, Mayor Bill de Blasio Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand As well as Senator Kamala Harris Governor Jay Inslee and businessman Andrew Yang.

On this night, the attacks became more personal. Some candidates reached back 20 and 30 years to criticize Biden for a 1990s crime bill and a 1981 op-ed he wrote.

Meanwhile, Gabbard accused Harris of blocking evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row.

Warren Considered Victor

Democrats may or may not have lost ground due to their bickering. Either way, the media loves to pick victors and losers.

So, who do they think was “victorious” and who “lost” in the debates? A number of media felt that Warren came out on top.

She focused on healthcare and immigration. And she made a case for aiming left to differentiate herself from Trump.

Here’s how she attacked the Democratic “moderates” during the debate. “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”

Delaney Stands Out… Moderately

Another victorious debater was Delaney, according to some media. He seemed to dominate the moderate side of the debate. Especially with his criticism of Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal.

Media was not calling Sanders a loser. But some speculated that Warren’s performance might take votes away from him.

Some media did refer to O’Rourke as a loser. CNN moderators kept calling on Delaney, rather than O’Rourke, to confront Warren and Sanders.

O’Rourke was third in the polls behind Biden and Sanders recently. But he has slipped to sixth. And he did not help himself in the debate.

Absent GOP Might Have Been the True Victors

A few media actually called Republicans the debate victors. Despite them not being there.

That was due mainly to the infighting. But also to the way some debate questions were framed.

Such as, “Will you take private insurance from Americans to give them Medicare-for-All?” And, “Will you raise taxes on the middle class to do it?”

As well as, “Will you decriminalize illegal border crossings and give unauthorized immigrants free healthcare?” Plus, “Are Democrats going too far to the left?”

Field Will Be Narrowed

The next Democratic debates will be September 12 and 13. But don’t expect 20 candidates to show up in Houston, Texas.

The criteria for qualifying for the next round is 130,000 unique donors. Including at least 400 per state in at least 20 states. And, at least 2 percent support in four polls. Candidates have until August 28 to reach these marks.

Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders and Warren have already qualified. Castro and Yang are close. The others might not make it.

It’s incredible how important fundraising has become in politics. Someone could make for a great president. But if he or she can’t raise funds, they’re out of the debate picture.

What Do You Think?

With the very public divide displayed in the debates within the Democratic Party, I’d love to hear with you think about this subject.

What are your thoughts on the division of 2020 Democrats in terms of healthcare and immigration? Do you think they are ultimately helping Republicans out by being so divided as a party?

Or do you think they have the potential to beat Trump next year?

As usual, please keep your comments civil. And please show respect for those who disagree with you.

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