Round 2 of the regular season for the Democratic presidential nomination kicked off Tuesday. Ten candidates, who were randomly chosen (and better selected than NBC), took the stage this night in Detroit. The other half, including presumptive former Vice President Joe Biden, will do so on Wednesday. Candidates did their best to put some distance between themselves and their rivals, with questions from CNN moderators more designed to generate clicks, views, likes, and retweets than actual substance. A host of issues were addressed, but the theme of this night was fear.
Following the first debates last month, polling for the Democratic presidential contenders coalesced around five main candidates. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg put some distance between themselves and the rest of the two-dozen strong field. Monday was Disclosure Day for the field, and sure enough, Biden, Bernie, Buttigieg, Warren, and Harris came out on top of the money race. Money talks, of course. Not always on its own, but often in echoes. With debate requirements tightening in the fall, the second quarter numbers offer the best picture yet as to who will go the furthest and who might be going home the soonest.
It was derided as the kids’ table debate, and it’s safe to say Wednesday night’s opening act lived down to the hype. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and nine challengers in single digits took the stage in Miami for NBC’s first Democratic debate of the 2019-20 presidential campaign. Emphasizing their similarities, few stood out positively from the field. The first group of ten (with ten more coming Thursday night) debated health care, immigration, foreign policy, and how to run against an unpopular president when things are going well.
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) announced his run for the presidency on Tuesday. He did so without the endorsement of Montana’s Democratic Senator, Jon Tester, and while struggling to name an accomplishment he was most proud of in his six years as governor. Democrats had hoped he would run against Montana’s other Senator, Steve Daines (R-MT), and are reportedly still pleading with him to change his mind.
Gov. Bullock is now the 22nd candidate to announce a run for the Democratic pennant, with more possibly on the way. Not all of them can be the nominee, and with several potential candidates currently polling at 0%, it’s questionable how many of them really want to be.