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Of the five top-tier Democratic candidates for President, four of them are debating on the second night. Senator Elizabeth Warren will be the only one in double digits in recent polls to be in the spotlight for the first Democratic debate.
Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will all be drawing the crowd the second night.
There are two ways to look at it. The two who have been leading the polls throughout – Sanders and Biden – are both on the second night. The two who many Democrats want to see in action first before considering supporting them – Harris and Buttigieg – are also on the second night. That could mean many will wait until then before tuning in.
Of course, this is the first debate, so the sheer excitement over the unofficial launch of primary season may be enough to draw a nice viewership crowd for Warren nonetheless.
She also has some personalities of interest who are not frontrunners with her. Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who has been trying to rejuvenate his floundering campaign, will be on with Warren, as will Senator Cory Booker, who hasn’t been as much of a factor so far as some expected last year.
Fox News host Jesse Waters pointed out a problem those on the second night might have.
“I don’t know how they will put them next to each other. It’s going to get ugly. There are not a lot of lower-tier candidates for them to attack. Do you all go after Biden, or do you go after Bernie?” he asked.
By being in a better group, those on the second night will likely get a better audience. But Warren has an opportunity to stand alone as the only one on stage with a chance. This field needs to shrink quickly.
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