Eyes on Bi­den as Democrats ready for third 2020 de­bate

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Ten Democrats seek­ing the White House will gather Thurs­day for their party’s third de­bate of the 2020 cy­cle, with fron­trun­ner Joe Bi­den shar­ing the stage with top ri­val El­iz­a­beth War­ren for the first time.

The tele­vised show­down in Hous­ton will be the long­est to date in the pri­mary con­test, a three-hour marathon that will give vot­ers their first op­por­tu­nity to see all the lead­ing can­di­dates on stage to­gether.

The pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters, in June and July, fea­tured 20 can­di­dates over two nights, leav­ing view­ers shell-shocked a full seven months be­fore the first votes are cast, in Iowa next Fe­bru­ary, to de­ter­mine the nom­i­nee.

While most of those can­di­dates re­main in the race, the de­bate is ef­fec­tively halv­ing the field as Democrats seek a chal­lenger to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Thurs­day’s de­bate, air­ing on ABC from 7:00 pm, will bring Amer­ica’s di­ver­sity to the fore.

The 10 can­di­dates are white, black, His­panic, and Asianamer­i­can; seven men and three women; three sep­tu­a­ge­nar­i­ans and four can­di­dates 30 to 40 years their ju­nior; and cen­trists, progressiv­es and lib­er­als.

In a sign of the dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal cur­rents cours­ing through the party, the mod­er­ate Bi­den will take cen­ter stage sand­wiched be­tween the promi­nent progressiv­es War­ren and Se­na­tor Bernie San­ders, a self­de­scribed Demo­cratic so­cial­ist who launched the universal health care ap­proach known as Medi­care for All.

All eyes will be on 76-yearold Bi­den, who main­tains a grip on pole po­si­tion with 29.8 per­cent sup­port, ac­cord­ing to a poll av­er­age com­piled by Real­clear­pol­i­tics.

His sum­mer of ver­bal mis­cues – and an ap­par­ent lack of pre­pared­ness for spir­ited at­tacks by ri­vals in the first de­bate – raised doubts about Barack Obama’s deputy’s age and men­tal clar­ity, and whether he will stand the test of a gru­el­ing po­lit­i­cal campaign.

To date, the Demo­cratic vet­eran has largely kept those con­cerns at bay.

He en­joys strong sup­port in par­tic­u­lar from African-amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties and from work­ing-class whites who ap­pre­ci­ate his blue-col­lar ap­peal and be­lieve he is best able to beat Trump, a top pri­or­ity for Demo­cratic vot­ers.

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