5 Things We Learned From The Second Round Of The #DemDebates

Here's what we learned from the second round of the Democratic debates.

5 Things We Learned From The Second Round Of The #DemDebates
Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

| August 02 2019,

10:11 pm

The second set of Democratic debates took place this week in Detroit, Michigan. Over the course of the two-night event, 20 candidates took to the stage to talk about issues, like health care, immigration, climate change and criminal justice. This set of debates wasn’t as dramatic or interesting as the first set in June, but it did help to identify the most viable candidates going forward. It also clearly established that this primary season will be a fight between progressive candidates and more moderate ones, underscoring a deep divide within the Democratic party.

Here are the important takeaways from this week's debates:


1. The contenders for “most progressive” candidate are Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Warren (D-MA) and Sanders (I-VT) gave strong performances on night one. They dominated the stage, laying out plans and progressive visions for the country, and were repeatedly attacked by more centrist candidates for having unrealistic plans that are too far left for the average voter. 





2. Former Vice President Joe Biden is still the front-runner in the race—but only barely. 

Compared to his last debate performance where he was stunned by attacks from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Biden did better this time around. He was prepared to challenge the records of Harris and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), which was a good thing because both went after him forcefully. Yet, Biden still struggles to articulate his message and answer for his past record. When you put Biden side-by-side against other more progressive candidates, he comes across as too moderate and too old-school for the current political climate. 



3. Author Marianne Williamson deserves credit for having the best answers on reparations out of any of the candidates.

Folks have been saying it's hard to take author and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson seriously in her bid for the presidency, yet she has many thoughtful and honest answers about why reparations are owed to the descendants of slaves. 


4. Julián Castro isn’t polling at the top but is making himself stand out in this race.

The former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro didn’t get as much air time when sharing the stage with Booker, Harris and Biden, but he made his time count. He was masterful in his back-and-forth with Biden on immigration and was the first person to say Eric Garner’s name during the debate. 


5. It’s time for some of the lesser-known candidates to drop out, so the front-runners can debate each other. 

After two sets of debates, there are still 24 candidates in this race. Only seven have qualified for the next set of debates in September. We shouldn’t have to sit through another five hours of debates with candidates who don’t have the money or poll numbers to win. It’s time to start narrowing the field before the first primaries in early 2020.





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