All Quiet on the Campaign Front
By Dianne Hermann
The next Democrat candidate debate is in just two weeks, on July 30th and 31st in Detroit, Michigan. Only one of the 20 candidates, Eric Swalwell (U.S. representative from California), has dropped out of the race since the June 26th and 27th debates in Miami, Florida.
Others are clinging to life and scrambling for campaign donations. To qualify for the next debate a candidate must poll at least 1% and show evidence of a minimum of 65,000 individual donors from at least 20 states. That’s a tall order for candidates with little name recognition, not to mention the other 250 Democrats running for president in 2020. That’s right, 270 Democrats are officially running for president!
Since the fireworks of the June 27th debate, which descended into little more than a shouting match, things have been pretty quiet. The most noise is being created by candidates trying to “out liberal” each other. They tout plans for free health care, free college tuition, open borders, restrictions on the 2nd Amendment, and unrestricted abortions even after a live birth.
Other than former Vice President Joe Biden, who is on an Obama-style apology tour, we haven’t heard much from the candidates. Biden has apologized for remarks he made at the last debate about working with segregationist senators. But he has skirted around apologizing for his behavior toward women over the last few decades.
So what have the other candidates been up to? Mostly appearing on late night TV shows and holding small campaign fundraising rallies. Only four candidates who currently qualify for the next debates – Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris – are polling in double digits. They also receive the most weekly TV news coverage. I doubt if the average American could name more than a couple of the other candidates.
Presidential candidates see the late night TV circuit as a way to reach a different demographic than the standard news outlets. Amy Bree Becker is the co-editor of “Political Humor in a Changing Media Landscape: A New Generation of Research.” She said, “The viewers who tune into late-night comedy are different from who you’re going to reach on a cable news show.” So unless you stay up that late, or live in a large market where rallies are held, you probably won’t see or hear from most of the candidates.
The next opportunity after the July debates for the Democrat presidential candidates to get their messages across are the debates on September 12th and 13th, and again monthly between October and April (dates to be announced) for a total of 12 debates. Within the next few months the herd of candidates will be culled to just a handful.
The first primary is the Iowa Caucus on February 3rd, followed closely by the New Hampshire primary on February 11th. Right now that seems like a lifetime away. The 2020 Democrat National Convention will be held from July 13-16, 2020. That’s a year away. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Image from time.com