There is less than five months to go before the first votes are cast in a contest nominated by the Democratic president. So the spotlight will be hotter with the 10 candidates making the cut for Thursday's debate.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been raised with more Democrats saying they like her than any other candidate, but former Vice President Joe Biden is on the move. to lead the polls. So what could separate them, what could be Thursday night's flash points, and could it upset any of the other candidates?
Here are some important logistical questions, followed by politics:
When was the debate? Thursday night from 8 – 11 pm ET
What is this channel? ABC and Univision (with Spanish translation)
Who are the moderators? ABC's George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Linsey Davis and Univision's Jorge Ramos
Who's on stage? Biden, Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Warren, as well as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Obama Housing Secretary Julián Castro, former Rep. Beto O & # 39; Rourke of Texas and tech investor Andrew Yang.
What are the qualifications to enter into this debate? 2% in at least four Democratic polls, either nationally or in the first states, as well as 130,000 donors from at least 20 states and at least 400 in each state.
Here are five political questions:
1. What will be Biden-Warren's dynamic?
Scott Eisen / Getty Images
Much has been made of the fact that this is the first time during this presidential campaign that Biden and Warren will share the debate. The question is whether they interact – and with what?
They sign that they can mix it up. Warren is getting attention for his overarching plans, but a Biden adviser told CNN that the former vice president is likely to argue in the debate that "we need more than plans." One area that is ripe for debate is on the law of bankruptcy, an issue for which they have a history.
2. Can Biden catch the heat?
Jeff Kowalsky / AFP / Getty Images
In each of the first two rounds of debates, different candidates chose to fight Biden – Harris on the bus, Booker on criminal justice and more. And he will likely be the focus of criticism from other candidates as he continues to lead the polls.
But despite some errors on the campaign trail and an endless initial debate, his brand has shown steadfastness. Not only did he lead the nationwide race and in many state polls, but he also liked the Democratic base very much, something you would probably not know if you just read Twitter, a point that has been repeated over and over again. of his campaign.
That makes him a target for others more candidates, who have to wonder what to do to lose him. Still, strategic strategists see Biden as a fragile front-runner, and he needs to have solid outings in the upcoming debates that will likely draw more attention than the first couple of rounds.
3. Will candidates double positions that are not popular with voters in the general election?
A lot of moderate Democratic candidates are off the stage for this round – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney does not qualify, and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper came down to run for Senate.
This means that progressives are likely to re-target Biden and focus on issues that are not popular outside Democrats, such as Medicare for All as a replacement for private insurance, health care for immigrants in the country of improper and decriminalizing cross borders.
4. Do Sanders and Warren maintain their nonviolent aggression?
Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images
Warren has gained a lot of attention and is not only the most popular candidate for Democrats in the latest NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist poll, he has now caught – and in some instances – fellow Sandwich progressives on average the polls are over.
That should be grated on Sanders, though people close to him continue to say he sees Warren as an ally for the kind of change he wants to see in the country. They maintained that Sanders would not follow Warren unless they were the last two standings, but they also privately pointed out differences, such as foreign policy and party politics. It might not be time for Sanders to follow Warren, but can some intelligence start to appear?
5. What kind of opportunities are candidates needing a breakout take?
I fa candidates have not had a moment, they now have a chance to do something to gain attention and create a spark for their campaign before a large audience.
Yang, for one, promises to do something he didn't do. What exactly? No one knows, but Yang hopes to give it to you.
Just call Andrew Yang's campaign manager to tell me that in tomorrow night's debate, Yang will do "something no presidential candidate has ever done in history." He refused to go further than that.
– Sam Stein (@samstein) September 11, 2019
At the same time, it's unclear how many people will tune in. The latest NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist poll was found. that more people said they didn't watch (42%) than they did (38%).