Daniel Halliday
Feb 17 · Last update 1 mo. ago.
Who’s the best candidate to run against Trump in 2020?
Trump remains one of the most divisive presidents in US history, with the lowest average ‘highest approval’ rating and the smallest margin between approval and disapproval (according to the Gallup polls). This indicates a divided opinion in the United States and not very much change in favour of his presidency so far. Considering his involvement in destabilising trade wars, brutal migration policy-making and a hasty and unpopular Middle East withdrawal, it would arguably be a lot better internally and internationally for Trump to be beaten at re-election. Trumps presidency has also encouraged an interesting new wave of businessmen and entrepreneurial candidates to enter the race. With this in mind who is the best candidate to run for president at the next US election?
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Tulsi Gabbard
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Andrew Yang
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Joe Biden
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Kamala Harris
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Beto O'Rourke
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Senator Cory Booker
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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
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Julian Castro
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Bernie Sanders
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Elizabeth Warren
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Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard is a member of the United States House of Representatives for Hawaii who announced her campaign to run for president on 11th January 2019. Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran that is running as a progressive candidate and is outspoken against US involvement in Iraq, Libya and Syria, having served in Iraq personally. She supports reproductive rights, universal healthcare, drug policy reform, LGBT rights, banking reform, education reform, environment policy reform and has backed a bill to increase minimum wage in the US. Gabbard seems to have earned a harsh response in the media following her opposition to efforts to remove Bashar al-Assad’s government from power in Syria, and an anti-LGBT stance she espoused before 2005, which she later apologised for. Despite this she remains a popular candidate and could become America’s first female and first Hindu president.

According to the Drudge and Washington Examiner polls Tulsi Gabbard came out of her night at the first democratic debates as the clear winner overall by a large margin. Gabbard’s exchange over US foreign policy with Tim Ryan proved a strong point in the debate, where Gabbard corrected Ryan for falsely asserting that the Taliban carried out the September 11th World Trade Centre attacks, and that this justified prolonging the US military presence in Afghanistan. Following the debate Tulsi Gabbard was also the candidate with the largest number of internet searches, displaying a large growth in interest in Gabbard’s campaign following her debate win.

Gabbard opened the second debate by questioning President Trump’s patriotism but quickly moved on to Kamala Harris, pointing out the failed criminal justice system and expressing concern about Harris’ legacy and the fact that she’s running for president, which was seen as a stand out moment of the evening. She then went on to claim America doesn’t have a healthcare system, but a “sick-care” system that leaves many unable to afford healthcare, and again criticised Harris’ this time on her healthcare plans. Gabbard was asked about the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, to which she claimed to be against corporate interests having power over American trade, and said she would not keep Trump’s Chinese trade restrictions in place as President as they damage too many American businesses also. Flint, Michigan was mentioned as Gabbard then moved on to argue her core campaign issue, claiming the US should bring their troops home to save billions of dollars a month, in order to address American issues. She continued to explain that resources instead could be put into healthcare for all, making sure everyone has clean safe drinking water, investing in education, and investing in infrastructure. Tulsi Gabbard was again the most searched candidate online following the second debate and won this night of the second debate according to various sources.

rt.com/shows/watching-the-hawks/450666-tulsi-gabbard-kremlin-puppet unionjournalism.com/2019/06/27/tulsi-gabbard-surprisingly-won-the-first-democratic-debate dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7186581/Internet-poll-shows-Tulsi-Gabbard-hands-winner-Democratic-debate.html youtube.com/watch?v=WMT5-C3igZ4 breitbart.com/2020-election/2019/07/31/tulsi-gabbard-winner-of-drudge-breitbart-polls-at-second-democrat-debate

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 15
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Gabbard opened the second debate by questioning President Trump’s patriotism but quickly moved on to Kamala Harris, pointing out the failed criminal justice system and expressing concern about Harris’ legacy and the fact that she’s running for president, which was seen as a stand out moment of the evening. She then went on to claim America doesn’t have a healthcare system, but a “sick-care” system that leaves many unable to afford healthcare, and again criticised Harris’ this time on her healthcare plans. Gabbard was asked about the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, to which she claimed to be against corporate interests having power over American trade, and said she would not keep Trump’s Chinese trade restrictions in place as President as they damage too many American businesses also. Flint, Michigan was mentioned as Gabbard then moved on to argue her core campaign issue, claiming the US should bring their troops home to save billions of dollars a month, in order to address American issues. She continued to explain that resources instead could be put into healthcare for all, making sure everyone has clean safe drinking water, investing in education, and investing in infrastructure. Tulsi Gabbard was again the most searched candidate online following the second debate and won this night of the second debate according to various sources.
Andrew Yang

Yang represents something of a wild card in the 2020 election, as an outsider with bold policy ideas. Coming from a background as an entrepreneur Yang believes that the United States is on the brink of monumental job losses due to the growing sophistication of automation and new technologies. He predicts this will cause catastrophic levels of permanent unemployment and aims to address this with the introduction of a Universal Basic Income, a payment as a dividend for all Americans of $1000 per month for contributing to the US economy. Yang remains an outsider and is not a career politician, but the range of policies and amount of support behind him make his progressive position influential, even if he does prove too much of an outsider to gain enough support.

Many in the media and on social media have pointed out that Andrew Yang’s microphone seem to be cut off while he was talking or attempting to interject during the first democratic debates, gaining the hosts MSNBC criticism and accusations of trying to sideline Andrew Yang and his vibrant campaign. Yang was only asked two questions and spoke for two and a half minutes during the two hour debate, where he spoke about Universal Basic Income, the trade war with China and the effects that has had on American citizens. Despite the very small amount of exposure gained from the debate some have pointed out that Yang stood out amongst a bunch of career politicians potentially playing the losing game of insults, especially against a final opponent of Trump.

Andrew Yang was posed many more questions during the second debate, and was one of the few candidates to try and avoid attacks on other democrats by saying "I would trust anyone on this stage more than I would trust our current president on matters of criminal justice” [1]. He then went on to describe problems with healthcare, immigration, crime and punishment, racial disparity, climate change, social and mental health problems, the gender pay gap, and job losses due to innovation, and argued that a universal basic income system could help give people the economic freedom to alleviate most of these issues. When asked about his views on foreign policy, Yang talked about ceasing his country's seemingly endless involvement in war and investing the money saved into problems at home, by deescalating tensions with Iran and bringing troops home Yang argued that more could be done to address American problems. Yang reference his position as 4th in national polling during his closing statement, but seems to have at least won this debate according to a Drudge Report poll, he remains an outlier but for some Yang is a breath of fresh air in the 2020 democratic campaign.

bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-12/andrew-yang-s-presidential-campaign-could-shape-democratic-party bipartisanreport.com/2019/06/28/people-go-nuts-on-twitter-after-andrew-yang-says-mic-cut-off-during-debate breitbart.com/politics/2019/06/28/andrew-yang-msnbc-cut-off-my-mic-during-debate-let-other-dems-interject youtube.com/watch?v=eA-69bxpWfs [1] youtube.com/watch?v=sSbou44OUHg dailycaller.com/2019/06/27/drudge-poll-williamson-yang-winner

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 15
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DH edited this paragraph
Many in the media and on social media have pointed out that Andrew Yang’s microphone seem to be cut off while he was talking or attempting to interject during the first democratic debates, gaining the hosts MSNBC criticism and accusations of trying to sideline Andrew Yang and his vibrant campaign. Yang was only asked two questions and spoke for two and a half minutes during the two hour debate, where he spoke about Universal Basic Income, the trade war with China and the effects that has had on American citizens. Despite the very small amount of exposure gained from the debate some have pointed out that Yang stood out amongst a bunch of career politicians potentially playing the losing game of insults, especially against a final opponent of Trump.
Joe Biden

As one of the most experienced career politicians in the race for the White House in 2020, Joe Biden is the current front runner of most US opinion polls. Having first been elected as a United States Senator in 1972, Joe Biden stayed to gain the fourth longest tenure in the Senate before becoming vice president to Barrack Obama in 2009. Biden announced his 2020 presidential campaign on 25th April 2019, and has previously criticised Trump, spoken in favour of Climate Change reforms, in favour of LGBT rights, and spoken out against Trump’s immigration policies. However with such a long history Biden faces memories of previous unpopular decisions such as authorising the Iraq War, and more recent scandals such as unwelcome physical contact complaints, and insulting the latest generation of voters (so called Millennials).

Biden’s performance at the first democratic debate saw much of this unpopular history brought up, as he was challenged on his legacy of failing on school desegregation legislation in the 70s, Kamala Harris personally calling out his part in supporting racist legislation. Likewise Sanders brought up Biden’s support of the Iraq War and even his age was raised as an issue by Eric Swalwell, who directly called on Biden to “pass the torch” to a new generation [1]. Despite being the leading candidate going into the first debate according to approval ratings, Biden is widely seen as having a bad performance in this debate, giving some unclear answers, and leading to a 10% drop in his rating [2].

Biden however seemed more prepared for the second debate, as even though more of the evening was spent going over similar ground with various democrats bringing up Biden’s record on healthcare, race and crime, Biden seemed more prepared to hit back this time and mention their historical blunders. In a response Kamala Harris and Cory Booker Biden delivered a substantial rebuke bringing up similar failings from their careers, mentioning a scandal in which Harris' team lost evidence in thousands of cases and Booker's failing as Mayor of Newark to curb discriminatory stop and frisk police policies. He then continued to defend more moderate healthcare reforms and vowed to be harsh on immigration, pointing out that illegal immigrants are breaking the law. Despite this Joe Biden stumbled on some issues and failed to deliver some comments correctly, including his closing statement in which he asked viewers to visit a non-existent website. Despite this Joe Biden remains the front runner in opinion polls by far, and is currently the favourite democratic nominee to run against Trump in 2020.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationwide_opinion_polling_for_the_2020_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/biden-set-announce-presidential-run-thursday-video-n997596 youtube.com/watch?v=C9WZWGY7nS4 [1] nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/front-running-biden-trips-first-2020-democratic-debate-n1024386 [2] washingtonexaminer.com/news/battered-biden-drops-10-points-after-first-debate thedailybeast.com/joe-biden-and-cory-booker-draw-battle-lines-over-criminal-justice-reform-ahead-of-second-debate

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationwide_opinion_polling_for_the_2020_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/biden-set-announce-presidential-run-thursday-video-n997596 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9WZWGY7nS4 [1] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/front-running-biden-trips-first-2020-democratic-debate-n1024386 [2] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/battered-biden-drops-10-points-after-first-debate https://www.thedailybeast.com/joe-biden-and-cory-booker-draw-battle-lines-over-criminal-justice-reform-ahead-of-second-debate
Kamala Harris

California Senator Kamala Harris announced her run for president on 27th January 2019, supporting progressive policies such as national healthcare, federal cannabis legalisation, emigration reform and tax policy reforms. Her tax policy is a big part of her campaign; Harris has stated her intention to raise taxes on the largest corporations to fund large tax cuts for middle class Americans. Senator Harris has a strong history in politics and law, previously serving as District Attorney for San Francisco, and Attorney General for California. However Harris has also faced strong criticism as a result of this history, the fact that she didn’t prosecute some guilty banks despite evidence of misconduct prior the 2008 financial crisis, and her efforts to pursue minor crimes that effect America’s poorest are often cited by those that disapprove of her campaign.

Harris delivered a good performance in the first democratic debate however, silencing the debate when it descended into a shouting match and managed to talk extensively on climate, immigration, economic and gun policy, gaining large applause from the audience. However it was her holding to account of the political history of Joe Biden that really allowed Harris to shine in this debate criticising his handling of school integration issues in the 1970s, which she was personally involved in as a child. This really solidified the opinion that Harris would be a good candidate to hold Donald Trump to account for many people, and allowed Harris to ascend to third place in approval ratings after the debates, according to a Morning Consult survey.

The second debate proved more difficult for Harris however, she attempted to reiterate similar points to the first debate and even successfully pulled Joe Biden up on his attempted dodge of Kirsten Gillibrand’s questions about Biden’s stance on pay equality for women, but she ultimately fell-prey to attacks on her record as a prosecutor in California. Joe Biden was the first to attack Harris’ healthcare plan, but following a question from a moderator to clarify her stance on desegregation, something she accused Biden of failing on in the last debate, Biden turned the argument around to Harris’ failures, even encouraging viewers to Google them. This opened the door for others, most notably Tulsi Gabbard, who listed many scandals surrounding Harris’ time as the District Attorney for San Francisco, one of which involved Harris withholding evidence that could have freed an innocent man from death row. Kamala Harris' ratings in opinion polls subsequently dropped, with some organisations, such as Quinnipiac, reporting a loss of 7%, Harris' performance being widely recognised as the worst of the night.

kamalaharris.org/meet-kamala theintercept.com/2017/01/05/kamala-harris-fails-to-explain-why-she-didnt-prosecute-steven-mnuchins-bank youtube.com/watch?v=DhJwmIPRmYk washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/kamala-harris-won-the-first-democratic-debates-and-it-wasnt-even-close politico.com/story/2019/06/30/kamala-harris-democratic-debates-1390740 nationalreview.com/2019/08/kamala-harris-stumbles-at-second-democratic-debate vanityfair.com/news/2019/08/polling-second-democratic-debate-harris-warren

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https://kamalaharris.org/meet-kamala/ https://theintercept.com/2017/01/05/kamala-harris-fails-to-explain-why-she-didnt-prosecute-steven-mnuchins-bank/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhJwmIPRmYk https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/kamala-harris-won-the-first-democratic-debates-and-it-wasnt-even-close https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/30/kamala-harris-democratic-debates-1390740 https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/08/kamala-harris-stumbles-at-second-democratic-debate/ https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/08/polling-second-democratic-debate-harris-warren
Beto O'Rourke

When Beto O’Rourke lost to Ted Cruz in his 2018 run for United States Senate there were immediate calls for him to run for president in 2020, which he answered in his March 14th announcement. He remains a popular candidate in debates and has broken records with his small donation style fundraising, raising $38 million in a three month period. O’Rourke is widely recognised as a progressive or centrist, campaigning for tougher anti-monopoly laws, an end to the privatised prison industry, nationwide legalisation of cannabis, federal aid to low-income family to access the public school system, climate change reform, assisting a two state solution between Palestine and Israel, and reforming immigration and gun policy. O’Rourke remains a popular choice, but judging by his losing a US senate position to Ted Cruz, he remains an outsider choice that some have speculated may only make it as far as vice president.

Despite this in the first Democratic Party Debates O’Rourke is thought to have delivered one of the worst performances, not quite answering the questions he was asked in two languages. O’Rourke’s use of Spanish in the debate has been mocked and divided many in the media, with some seeing it as pandering and predicting it may alienate even Spanish speaking voters rather than attract them. O’Rourke is seen to have lost in a confrontation over immigration policy with Julian Castro, something that gave Castro a boost but shattered O’Rourke’s fundraising efforts.

O’Rourke delivered a more subdued performance in the second debate instead presenting himself as the middle ground candidate, talking on his support for Medicare for America, a not so radical version of the Sander’s single-payer national healthcare system. O’Rourke also reiterated his stance on immigration that was criticised in the last debate, and spoke of the negative influence of money in politics in the country. Following the debate Pete Buttigieg advertised a “grassroots fundraiser” at $1000 a ticket casting a bad light on his campaign, one of the few to be funded by Washington lobbyists, O’Rourke’s staff were quick to capitalise and reiterate O’Rourke’s grassroots fundraising efforts.

texastribune.org/2018/10/12/beto-orourke-raised-more-38-million-race-against-ted-cruz dailydot.com/layer8/beto-o-rourke-2020 huffpost.com/entry/beto-o-rourke-spanish-debate-meme_n_5d141b26e4b0e455603741ff cbsnews.com/news/despite-a-tumble-in-polls-and-fundraising-orourke-campaign-betting-it-all-on-beto msn.com/en-us/news/politics/beto-o-e2-80-99rourke-is-smooth-collected-in-second-democratic-debate/ar-AAF7skj news.yahoo.com/looking-for-a-boost-beto-o-rourke-will-try-new-strategy-in-second-debate-213608851.html slate.com/business/2019/03/beto-orourke-health-plan-medicare-for-all-america.html

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https://www.texastribune.org/2018/10/12/beto-orourke-raised-more-38-million-race-against-ted-cruz/ https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/beto-o-rourke-2020/ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/beto-o-rourke-spanish-debate-meme_n_5d141b26e4b0e455603741ff https://www.cbsnews.com/news/despite-a-tumble-in-polls-and-fundraising-orourke-campaign-betting-it-all-on-beto/ https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/beto-o-e2-80-99rourke-is-smooth-collected-in-second-democratic-debate/ar-AAF7skj https://news.yahoo.com/looking-for-a-boost-beto-o-rourke-will-try-new-strategy-in-second-debate-213608851.html https://slate.com/business/2019/03/beto-orourke-health-plan-medicare-for-all-america.html
Senator Cory Booker

Cory Anthony Booker has been the United States Senator for New Jersey since 2013 and announced his running for the 2020 presidential election in February 2019. During his time as Major of Newark he doubled the affordable housing in the city and reduced the city’s budget deficit by more than half. As a vegan, Booker is outspoken on animal rights issues, as well as focusing on long-term deficit reduction, taxation to combat climate change, educational reform, racial and social justice, abortion rights, Medicare-for-all, criminal justice reform, plus supporting an end to the War on Drugs and US military involvement overseas. However Booker has also been seen to have damaged his long-term relationship with Jewish supporters by backing the Iran nuclear deal, but likewise has also been criticised for his involvement with Israeli lobby group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

During the first democratic debated Booker managed to engage in the debate more than anyone, having the most speaking time out of all candidates, and while this may not necessarily be all that useful, for someone like Booker who needs to raise their profile it may have been a positive strategy for him. Booker repeated his popular talking points of in depth personal knowledge of the country’s gun problems as former-Mayor and resident of Newark. He spoke with similar passion about LGBT rights and healthcare, but some have pointed out his lack of clarity on issues such as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Regardless of this he is thought to have performed well and gained positive exposure overall.

Booker was another candidate who took on front runner in opinion polls - Joe Biden, but arguably Booker's comments were the strongest and most memorable. During the exchange over race and law enforcement policy Joe Biden mistakenly referred to Booker as President instead of Senator, and then backtracked by jokingly calling him the “future President”, a comment to which Booker replied that he was grateful for Biden's support to his presidency. During this argument Booker also used a colloquialism to retort against Biden’s summation of his time as Major of Newark, which became the most tweeted exchange from the whole debate. Booker's support has however stayed the same despite his performance being widely regarded as the strongest of this debate.

freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2019/04/03/in-private-meeting-with-aipac-cory-booker-fawns-over-israel insidernj.com/new-jerseys-cory-booker-first-prez-debate msn.com/en-us/news/politics/a-kool-aid-clapback-cory-booker-gets-spicy-at-the-second-night-of-the-democratic-debate/ar-AAFa7xb thehill.com/homenews/campaign/455685-booker-bidens-kool-aid-exchange-was-second-debates-top-tweeted-moment inquirer.com/news/cory-booker-2020-democratic-presidential-primary-debate-poll-no-bump-20190806.html

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Daniel Halliday
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Booker was another candidate who took on front runner in opinion polls - Joe Biden, but arguably Booker's comments were the strongest and most memorable. During the exchange over race and law enforcement policy Joe Biden mistakenly referred to Booker as President instead of Senator, and then backtracked by jokingly calling him the “future President”, a comment to which Booker replied that he was grateful for Biden's support to his presidency. During this argument Booker also used a colloquialism to retort against Biden’s summation of his time as Major of Newark, which became the most tweeted exchange from the whole debate. Booker's support has however stayed the same despite his performance being widely regarded as the strongest of this debate.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand is an attorney and United State Senator for New York since 2009, she announced her interest in running for the next presidential election in March 2019. As a democratic “centrist” Gillibrand was the first sitting senator to propose immigration reform by abolishing ICE (the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement), but has also voted to limit funding for immigrant sanctuary cities. Likewise she has previously supported gun rights and slowly moved to being an advocate of gun control. Gillibrand has supported abortion rights, women's rights and been a proponent of a national healthcare system in “Medicare-for-all” since 2006. Gillibrand has been criticised however for keeping on a male member of staff despite multiple sexual harassment complaints, something that has contrasted her stance on the MeToo movement and her outspoken criticism of Bill Clinton’s conduct while in office.

From the first democratic debate Gillibrand made it clear that she was by far the fiercest defender of women’s rights in the debate, questioning her opponent’s commitment to fighting for abortion rights and how urgently would seek to amend abortion rights legislatively. Nearly all democratic candidates seek to repeal the anti federal abortion “Hyde Amendment” while codifying pro-choice “Roe v. Wade” in statute, making it harder for Republicans to rollback. However Gillibrand risks falling out of the race for democratic candidacy as she lacks donors, which led to Sen. Cory Booker calling for donor support for Gillibrand based on her strong points on women’s rights, arguing that she needs to play an much needed active role in democratic debates moving forward.

Kirsten Gillibrand started the next debate by delivering one of the most memorable one-liners of the night, stating that the first thing she would do if elected president would be to “Clorox the Oval Office”, in reference to the dirty administration of President Trump. She then personally held Joe Biden accountable for past beliefs he had expressed regarding women in the workplace contributing to the deterioration of family, and kept pressing on the issue despite Biden’s obvious dodge of the question by accusing Gillibrand of only attacking him as she’s running for President. However, despite holding her own on the debate stage Gillibrand now faces the very real possibility of falling out of the race, as it is looking likely that she will not make the polling or donor thresholds for the next round of debates in September.

vox.com/2018/6/1/17417222/bill-clinton-lewinsky-kirsten-gillibrand-me-too-movement vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/28/18942612/democratic-debate-june-2019-2020-kirsten-gillibrand theresurgent.com/2019/05/16/kirsten-gillibrand-damsel-in-debate-distress youtube.com/watch?v=DF_h_JEAsWU nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/who-won-second-democratic-debate-night-2-n1038041

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Kirsten Gillibrand started the next debate by delivering one of the most memorable one-liners of the night, stating that the first thing she would do if elected president would be to “Clorox the Oval Office”, in reference to the dirty administration of President Trump. She then personally held Joe Biden accountable for past beliefs he had expressed regarding women in the workplace contributing to the deterioration of family, and kept pressing on the issue despite Biden’s obvious dodge of the question by accusing Gillibrand of only attacking him as she’s running for President. However, despite holding her own on the debate stage Gillibrand now faces the very real possibility of falling out of the race, as it is looking likely that she will not make the polling or donor thresholds for the next round of debates in September.
Julian Castro

As the former Housing Secretary to Barack Obama, Castro was considered as a potential nominee for Democratic Party vice president in the 2016 presidential campaign, and announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election in January 2019, despite being the first Democratic nominee to not have previously served as vice president, governor or senator since 1924. Castro is emphasising his support for Medicare-for-all, reforming education, and comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for illegal migrants. Generally regarded as a strong candidate Castro can be noted for a strong support of abortion rights despite being a Catholic, and has been a strong advocate of LGBT rights, however he has also been criticised for focusing strongly on campaigning in southern states, something which may alienate voters in other parts of the country.

Some political commentators have likewise mentioned the possibility of Castro alienating majority white voters if he goes after the Latin American vote too intensely, but if he assumes he is going to get the majority those voters he could be wrong also. Castro therefore had a lot to prove at the First Democratic Debates in June 2019, but is thought to have performed well with NBC and CNN applauding his interruption and exchange with Beto O’Rourke regarding section 1325 of the US Immigration Act. Castro also managed to occupy as much speaking time a veteran politicians such as Elizabeth Warren, meaning greater exposure for Castro, as he raised issues surround pay gender gap and an equal rights amendment, climate change and police reforms.

During the second democratic debate Castro again had much to prove as he had yet to make the polling threshold to qualify for the third debates in September. Building on his previous points on reforming immigration Castro called out Biden’s stance on immigration as a “right-wing talking point”, and delivered a strong response to Biden’s accusation that he had never spoken about immigration reform when working with Biden in the Obama administration. Castro accused Biden of not learning from his past, being one of many Democrats to question Biden’s record on race and immigration policies, but possibly the most personal as he also accused his Biden of not having the guts to deal with immigration. He went on to criticise Trump as a racist and discussed his belief that impeachment should be sought in light of all the scandals surrounding the current president.

politico.com/magazine/story/2019/01/13/2020-election-julian-castro-223963 edition.cnn.com/2019/06/26/politics/who-won-democratic-debate/index.html youtube.com/watch?v=hi8rYKKvXgw texastribune.org/2019/07/31/julian-castro-joe-biden-spar-immigration-during-democratic-debate youtube.com/watch?time_continue=168&v=68r_-84IG-A

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During the second democratic debate Castro again had much to prove as he had yet to make the polling threshold to qualify for the third debates in September. Building on his previous points on reforming immigration Castro called out Biden’s stance on immigration as a “right-wing talking point”, and delivered a strong response to Biden’s accusation that he had never spoken about immigration reform when working with Biden in the Obama administration. Castro accused Biden of not learning from his past, being one of many Democrats to question Biden’s record on race and immigration policies, but possibly the most personal as he also accused his Biden of not having the guts to deal with immigration. He went on to criticise Trump as a racist and discussed his belief that impeachment should be sought in light of all the scandals surrounding the current president.
Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is the United States Senator for Vermont and a popular democratic candidate who ran for president in 2016, and has announced he is running again in 2020. Sander has been part of the America’s Socialist Party and several peace and antiwar movements since he was a student. He was heavily involved in the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, regularly protesting against, segregation, civil injustice and police brutality. A self-claimed socialist and a progressive, he vowed not to take corporate donations in 2016 and has already raised $10 million in his first week of grass-roots fund raising for the 2020 elections. Sanders is running on ideas of a universal healthcare system, boosting the welfare system to easy poverty, revising gun laws and immigration, while advancing LGBT rights, adopting a more progressive foreign policy, and tackling climate change.

Many in the media have pointed out a distinct shift in the talking points of the democratic candidates for 2020, indicating the effect Sanders’ 2016 campaign has had on a left-leaning shift with candidates pushing ambitious reform plans and increasingly progressive rhetoric. However views on Bernie Sanders' performance in the first democratic debate has been mixed and many have pointed out the traction that Sanders stands to lose as a result of his influence on other democratic candidates, as he will have to work harder to stand out amongst the large pool of candidates now mostly towing a more liberal line. Sanders talked about Medicare-for-All, eliminating student debt, gun control, continental American foreign policy, climate change and women’s, LGBT and worker’s rights. He spoke on a large range of points and received a large amount of applause, and despite often being interrupted in the debate and his performance being widely criticised in the mainstream media, Sanders maintains "I won both debates" [1].

Along with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sander spent much of the second night of the democratic debated defending his universal healthcare plan. Sanders stated from the beginning of this debate he believes the democrats need to “campaign with energy, excitement and vision” and accused other democrats of being afraid of “big ideas”. He also derailed John Delaney’s harsh criticisms of his policies by simply replying “you’re wrong” to much applause, and quipped back at Tim Ryan accusations that he didn’t know what his healthcare plan would cover with “I wrote the damn bill!.” This fiery performance even led to Sanders to accuse the CNN hosts of presenting “republican talking points” as questions to the democrats, overall a powerful second debate delivered by Sanders.

nytimes.com/2019/02/25/us/politics/bernie-sanders-10-million.html?pgtype=Homepage youtube.com/watch?v=EEoLHPWRfz4 [1] washingtonexaminer.com/news/bernie-sanders-i-won-both-debates youtube.com/watch?v=TylMnKXL_i4 youtube.com/watch?v=pcge_OHwfSc thepavlovictoday.com/in-depth-analysis-of-the-second-democratic-debate-night-one youtube.com/watch?v=YYQT66fjl8I

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 14
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DH edited this paragraph
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/25/us/politics/bernie-sanders-10-million.html?pgtype=Homepage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEoLHPWRfz4 [1] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/bernie-sanders-i-won-both-debates https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TylMnKXL_i4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcge_OHwfSc https://www.thepavlovictoday.com/in-depth-analysis-of-the-second-democratic-debate-night-one/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYQT66fjl8I
Elizabeth Warren

Popular democratic senior Senator for Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren announced her run for the 2020 presidency on the 8th Feburary 2019. She is a proponent of massive structural reform of government in the United States, a staunch progressive she has spoken passionately in favour of a US public health care system, a wealth tax and environmental policy. She has also spoken out against US involvement in Syria and Afghanistan, US support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and against Trump personally on many occasions, however this has seen Trump retaliate mocking her claims of Native American heritage which may have hurt her public image somewhat.

Warren had a strong start to the first debate but didn’t contribute much moving on during the second half of this debate. She really came across well talking about the benefits of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal, and pointing out that the business model of American insurance companies is to profit from rising insurance premiums that pressure the majority of Americans and leave many not being able to afford health care at all. Warren came across well clearly stating her intention to make the government work for everyone, not just the top one percent, but her true test will be standing out against other veteran politicians in the next round of debates, as she was solely up against lesser known politicians in the first debate.

Many new agencies reported Warren to have given the best performance at the first night of the second democratic debates, conveying her stance well, as well as defending her ideas against critique and delivering some of the best stand out lines from the entire second debate. On the issue of white supremacy Warren stated “we need to call out white supremacy for what it is: domestic terrorism” [1], a suggestion that already seems to be beginning to stick following the reporting on the latest mass shootings in El Paso, Texas. She also worked well with Sanders, the two seemingly supporting one another’s more progressive stance by criticising the more numerous centrist democrats for focusing on and repeatedly talking about “what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for” [1] rather than stating their intentions.

businessinsider.com/who-is-elizabeth-warren-bio-age-family-key-positions-2019-3 theslot.jezebel.com/it-was-elizabeth-warrens-night-1835893309 time.com/5607529/democratic-primary-debates-elizabeth-warren [1] thepavlovictoday.com/in-depth-analysis-of-the-second-democratic-debate-night-one

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 10
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DH edited this paragraph
Warren had a strong start to the first debate but didn’t contribute much moving on during the second half of this debate. She really came across well talking about the benefits of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal, and pointing out that the business model of American insurance companies is to profit from rising insurance premiums that pressure the majority of Americans and leave many not being able to afford health care at all. Warren came across well clearly stating her intention to make the government work for everyone, not just the top one percent, but her true test will be standing out against other veteran politicians in the next round of debates, as she was solely up against lesser known politicians in the first debate.
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