Democratic debates spark controversy


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Buttigieg, Sanders, Biden and Warren all line up together during the debate.

From June 26 to June 27, the first official Democratic debates for the 2020 election began at 8:00 in Miami, Florida. They aired on NBC and were broadcasted on the radio by Westwood One. The second debates began on July 30 and ended July 31 and were held in Detroit, Michigan. The third debates were held on September 12, in Houston, Texas. The fourth and most recent debates took place on October 15, in Westerville, Ohio. 

On the first night of the first debate, there were a total of 20 candidates between both days. The ten candidates for the first day were Warren, O’Rourke, Booker, Klobuchar, Castro, Gabbard, Ryan, Inslee, de Blasio and Delaney. The first night of the debate was lead by an argument between O’Rourke and Castro on the subject of immigration, which Castro was believed to have won according to the majority. 

On night two, the remaining ten candidates were Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, Yang, Gillibrand, Hickenlooper, Bennet, Williamson and Swalwell. Harris and Biden clashed over Biden’s past comments about working with segregationist senators and his stance on desegregation busing. 

During the second debate on July 30th, there were the same 20 candidates from the first debates and one new candidate, Bullock. To be qualified, candidates were required to have individual donations from at least 165,000 people, consisting of at least 600 unique donors in at least 20 states.

For the third debate, the candidates who qualified were Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders, Warren and Yang. With only 10 candidates, this has remained the lowest number of participants in any of the debates for the upcoming 2020 election. 

During the fourth debate, the Democratic National Committee announced that the debate would include all candidates on one night, although some had assumed it would take place on two nights since it had more than 10 participants. The candidates were Gabbard, Steyer, Booker, Harris, Sanders, Biden, Warren, Buttigieg, Yang, O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Castro. Podium order for the debate was determined based on an average of the 10 most recently released qualifying polls. Breaking with this year’s tradition of starting debate by arguing over the nuances of the candidates’ health-care plans, the moderators began by asking the 12 contenders about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Warren was faced with dilemmas from multiple candidates seeking to challenge her unabashedly progressive approach to health care and outspoken position within the field, but Warren came out unscathed after the debate. 

Mr. Poletti said, “I think we’ll have a second opportunity to elect a woman to lead our country.”

Most viewers are often left wondering why the debates are important and what they accomplish, but the debates help set a party’s platform for the upcoming 2020 election. During the debates, viewers can see how candidates react under pressure, giving more insight as to how they would lead a country. The debates allow candidates to express their opinions regarding certain issues, and help candidates further their platform for future elections. Many also rely on the debates to influence voting decisions. 

Ms. Boczar stated, “voters are given the opportunity to hear candidates discuss and debate key issues, which could impact the voters to the extent of changing their minds on who to vote for.” 

The majority of the American people are unsure as to what is going to happen during the 2020 election. Although it is too early to tell, some have predictions for the upcoming November debate, which takes place on the 20th. Eight candidates are expected to make it – which leaves four unknown candidates from the October debates who may not be invited back to the next debate. 

The debates are important for various reasons, specifically for getting a direct insight into who could potentially govern the nation and how well it could be done. People can only hope that the candidates give a clear and composed idea during the debate to show how they might govern the country in the next few years. 

Senior Ann Kozak stated, “the outcome of the debates will hopefully allow voters to have a pretty good idea of who they would potentially want to govern the country and, down the road, have a democratic presidential candidate.”