While campaigning, fundraising, and rallying of their supporters has had candidates on the campaign trail for months, the race for the 2020 Presidential election started last night for many Americans, with the first Democratic Primary debate of the election. It showcased ten of the twenty-four Democratic candidates in the running for their party’s nomination, and it truly allowed those who had not been on the national radar to make a statement for themselves. The debate was chock-full of policy ideas, sidestepping, and as always, members of the debate not understanding the rules (which I’m sure made one popcorn eating Georgian happy). But enough of my babbling, let’s get to the debate!
Warren Walks Away with a Win
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren was already considered one of the front-runners for the nomination, and she only cemented her place among them with this debate. She was vocal and provided solid and thorough commentary during the first hour of the debate, and after she had made her presence felt, leveled off in the last hour. Her strong claims for upholding the 70% income tax on the wealthy, abolishing student debt, and making college tuition free drew high praise from the crowd. Her radical and far-reaching ideas will draw support from young voters in the primaries, but the question is, how will those same ideas fare in the general?
No Bueno for Beto
I only have two words for Beto O’Rourke and his campaign team: big oof. Real big oof. O’Rourke, a once hyped candidate, seems to have fallen back to Earth as his lack of policy knowledge was exposed in front of the entire nation. He spent his time not answering questions, most likely because he is not as radical as the people he shared the stage with. His use of Spanish seemed forced and more like a poorly planned stunt. The former congressman from Texas spent the entire debate trying as hard as he could to not tell the American people who he is and what he stands for, which has resulted in a large drop in the polls. O’Rourke and his team seem to be trying to set themselves up for the general election by aiming to appeal to moderate voters, but they need to remember that they have to win the primary first.
Castro puts himself in the limelight
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro entered polling around 1%, and now I would expect him to be polling anywhere between 7% and 12% by the end of the second debate, a massive jump for him. Castro showed off his intelligent and emotional responses towards issues such as immigration and healthcare, and absolutely stole the spotlight from everyone else there. Now, the question is whether or not he can sustain his fame. Is he a one news-cycle wonder? Or is he the real deal? Only time will tell.
Klobuchar’s bold plan of moving slow
Amy Klobuchar, aside from name-dropping Trump more than Fox News, has what she calls a “bold plan:” incrementally switching the nation to universal healthcare. Klobuchar seems to be a little late to the party, as common sense would dictate that it would have to be an incremental approach, and almost all of the candidates on stage wish for the country to have universal healthcare. So, Klobuchar’s “bold plan” is simply what everyone else wants. That, plus her affinity to bash Trump almost every time she could speak instead of providing concrete solutions, does not bode well for the Senator from Minnesota who is already polling below 1%.
I thought this debate had more pre-made speeches than clash, but overall it was a lot cleaner than I expected. We had some candidates perform as expected, while others’ stocks rose up and down, in ways that could honestly seal their fate for the rest of the primaries. Tonight’s debate will ultimately tell just how much shift we can expect to see in the polls and be on the lookout for my article on tonight’s debate, which will be out sometime tomorrow.
Garrison is the Director of Sports Commentaries for The Weekly Cad.