On Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27, the 2020 presidential election cycle officially kicks off with the very first debates of the season. Even though candidates have already been campaigning from state to state over the weeks, this first round of debates might officially separate the over-qualified from the under-qualified. For those planning on tuning in, but wondering who's in the first Democratic debates for 2020, I've got you covered.
Since the field is so full, the debate will be split into two parts on two days, with each day featuring 10 candidates. The first round of debates start on Wednesday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET and will include Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, and Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.
The second night, on Thursday, June 27, will feature candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado, activist Marianne Williamson, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado.
You catch all of that? Judging by the number of Democrats running in the 2020 presidential election, it's no wonder they had to break these debates into two nights.
Even though there's a large number of Democrats running for president, only a few are leading in the polls. According to a June 17 poll from The Economist/YouGov, Biden is currently the front runner among Democrats, leading over Trump in states including Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The polls also found that Sanders is at second place, with Warren in third. However, a new poll suggests Warren's position could shift very soon, and it's coming from a very unlikely source. On June 20, Politico reported that President Trump's pollster Tony Fabrizio predicts that Warren will lead the Democratic party by fall, believing Biden will fall in popularity.
On June 19, GOP strategist Ward Baker shared a video on Twitter of Biden refusing to apologize for working with segregationist senators in the past. On June 19, Biden dismissed calls for him to apologize, and questioned why he should in the first place. "Apologize for what?" Biden asked.
Baker captioned the video by stating that Biden will be in third place by October, to which Fabrizio agreed. "Agreed and @ewarren will be leading," Fabrizio wrote.
So far, Biden, Sanders, and Warren have received a large amount of media attention since launching their campaign. However, that doesn't mean other candidates are giving up. In Booker's case, the Democratic candidate has started unveiling strategies to address some of the biggest issues within the United States. On June 20, Booker introduced his Restoring Justice Initiative plan, which would grant clemency and early release to those charged with non-violent offenses, such as marijuana charges. In addition, the plan would consider granting clemency for prisoners who would have received shorter sentences prior to President Trump passing The First Step Act, a law which offers minimum prison reform. This plan could grant clemency for nearly 17,000 prisoners overall. Once the process was initiated, a bipartisan panel would be set up and decide which prisoners would still pose a threat to society, or take the option of clemency seriously.
Well, everyone it's almost here. It's time to turn on that television, grab the popcorn, and get comfortable. This is certainly going to be interesting.