My 15-year old granddaughter Nikki likes Mayor Pete because “of his unique and logical platform." She mentioned his plan on college affordability and his caution toward the idea of free tuition for everyone as an example of well thought-out policy. My grandsons, Jack and Joe, are 13 and like only the candidates who will make dealing with climate change a top priority. The adults, my wife, mother-in-law, daughter, son, and two sons-in-law, support ranges from Kamala Harris to Mayor Pete to Michael Bennet to whoever, in their opinion, can beat Trump. At least for now, that list did not include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren. However, I know other polls would have those three showing pretty prominently. So, as the field begins to narrow, I plan to add an informal poll or two to my future blog posts about the presidential race. It will be good to hear and share more of your perspectives on this important election.
In general, I was very pleased. Although none of the questions I thought should be asked were asked, one thing for sure is that Democrats have a right to be proud of the quality of the entire field. They are not all ready for prime-time and many have little realistic chance of success. However, this field of candidates are all intelligent, motivated, and have a desire to help lead our country forward. Every single one of them could be a help to any Democrat who wins the Presidency, something that any objective person could not have said about Republicans in 2016.
Here is where we are now after two nights of debate. First, the debates start to sort out those who have a path to the nomination from those who do not. Second, the three front runners in the polls before the debate, Biden, Warren, and Sanders, are likely going to see their poll numbers drop. I suspect the fundraising numbers that will come out soon will give further evidence, particularly about who can really afford to stay in the race. After the July 30 and 31 debates, it will become clearer who are the candidates with realistic hopes to win.
Biden was the big disappointment. It is too early to set him aside, but he is clearly going to take a lot more hits between now and the next debate. Concerns about Biden include age, too much leaning on the past, and a debate performance that will cause a lot of Democrats to worry about his ability to debate one-on-one with President Trump. The likely silver bullet that the opposition now has against Warren and Sanders was their strong defense of eliminating private health insurance in their Medicare-for-all plans. Polls show that many supporters of Medicare-for-all assume they will have the option of keeping the private insurance they currently have. So this should be something to keep an eye on as the debates go on.
Candidates who I think helped themselves were: Kamala Harris with her debate style; Julian Castro successfully taking on of Beto O’Rourke; Amy Klobucher sharing why she can do well in the rust belt states; Pete Buttigieg for his candor on dealing with the police tragedy in South Bend, IN; and John Hickenlooper sharing his leadership success as Governor.
To say the least it will be an interesting five weeks until Detroit and the next debate.