Four Democrats are unofficially out of the race. One can argue they were never really in it. Others may say the majority of those among the 20 invited to the first two-day round of debates in two weeks aren’t really in the race, either. We’ll know soon enough.
The four who didn’t qualify for the debates are Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel; Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam; and Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts.
The DNC’s requirements to reach the debate stage have been panned on both sides. Some say they’re too easy, which can be seen by the 20 names that maxed out the room allotted. Other say they’re too hard, that the DNC is excluding smaller candidates to its own demise as a representation of the shortcomings that delivered Hillary Clinton the nomination in 2016.
To me, it’s nothing more than a fundraising opportunity for all but four or five of them. Sure, most if not all believe they would be good Presidents and are taking their campaigns seriously, but it’s likely at least some are acutely aware they have no chance but see the opportunity to raise funds for future races or other endeavors as too juicy to pass up. Running against President Trump is a surefire way to scare the dollars out of Democratic donors’ wallets, which is why so many opportunists hit the field early on.
We have the largest field of Democrats in modern history hitting the debate stage this month. It’s going to be a circus to see who can score fundraising email one-liners, but at least four are out of the picture.
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