Joe Biden is still strong, and so are the bigger names on the race, but we shouldn't bother with the rest of relatively unknown Democrats.
One thing is clear after this second round of debates: it’s getting crowded in here. Two rounds of debates have gone by and none of the candidates seem to have had their luck change significantly. On Wednesday's debate in Detroit, former vice president Joe Biden had to deflect the candidates' attack on his record, which he did. By all accounts, Biden performed mediocrely at articulating better arguments. Luckily for him, mediocre may just be what he needs to secure the nomination. If only the candidates with dismal polling numbers would just drop out.Things went on somewhat smoothly in that it they didn't go smoothly at all, but we knew that, didn't we? People, including the former vice president himself, expected some sort of a rematch between Biden and Kamala Harris, considering June's debate, in which Biden came under attack for his busing policies of the past. Their clash was memorable and it was a first warning on what Biden could expect for this rather crowded race. Biden even raised expectations before the debate by telling reporters he had been "overly polite" last time. Once the show started, the first thing he said going up to shake Kamala Harris's hand was “Go easy on me, kid.”
Well, not only did Harris not go easy on him, thereby handing us the rematch, but the other candidates also joined in, attacking Biden’s record on many issues. Julián Castro went after his immigration record, Harris criticized his handling of insurance companies, Kirsten Gillibrand grilled him on comments about working women. And just as he had announced, Biden fought back... politely, that is. He went into the specifics of Harris’s Medicare plan, predicting it would cost 3 trillion in 10 years. Joe Biden did fairly well. You could even argue he did average. So, what?
What these debates have revealed is not really all that surprising. The underdogs will go after the frontrunners. Except these frontrunners don't have a chance in hell of even getting close. Only four of them are polling over 10 per cent. That's four out of twenty-four now. Peter Buttigieg, a candidate said to be soaring in poll numbers only some weeks ago, is at a little over 5 percent. The rest haven't even made it to the next debate, set to be held on September 12 and 13. The ones that have are not surprising: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Peter Buttigieg, Corey Booker, and Beto O'Rourke.
Should we bother with the pack of moderates that were set on attacking Sanders and Warren? To say they're run-of-the-mill Democrats is a massive understatement. Moreover, the Democratic race doesn't need them, specially considering Biden, as a moderate who holds a double-digit lead on the next runner-up, is the Democratic party's best shot at attracting centrist voters. The rest are largely irrelevant and set themselves up for ridicule. Just ask John Delaney, best known for being Sanders's and Warren's punching bag, who is now the face of the "No, we can't" candidates. Watch him get run over by the progressive wing of the Democrats.
What most of these candidates don't seem to get is that these elections might not be about policies at all. They might not be about the most honest records. These elections are about who has the best shot at defeating Donald Trump. So, if you're a longshot candidate, do everyone a favor and just drop out.
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