With Time Running Out, Democratic Presidential Contenders to Meet in High-Stakes Iowa Debate

Six Democratic White House contenders will take part on Tuesday in a high-stakes Iowa debate, as polls show an unsettled nominating race with no clear favorite three weeks before Iowans kick off the party’s presidential nominating contest.

The seventh debate in the race to find a November challenger to President Donald Trump will be the last face-to-face encounter among the candidates before Iowa’s caucuses on Feb. 3, giving the contenders a final high-profile chance to make their case to voters.

It comes as opinion polls in recent days show an extremely tight race among four candidates – former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

Joining the four in the debate are U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire activist Tom Steyer.

With surveys showing a virtual tie in Iowa and a largely undecided electorate, all candidates will face mounting pressure to make an impression, raising expectations for a contentious evening.

“I envision a much more aggressive debate than we have seen in the past, primarily because the stakes have gotten higher as the calendar has gotten shorter,” said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, who worked on John Edwards’ past White House campaign.

It is the first debate since a U.S. air strike killed an Iranian military commander, elevating foreign policy concerns and sparking clashes among Democrats, particularly Biden and Sanders, over the role of U.S. military interventions. That dispute is almost certain to rise again.

Sanders, a longtime antiwar advocate who voted in 2002 against authorizing the Iraq invasion, has repeatedly criticized Biden for his vote as a U.S. senator to authorize the war. Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has touted his security credentials.

The campaigns of Sanders and Warren, progressive allies and friends who have refrained from attacking each other, clashed over the weekend over a report that some Sanders campaign volunteers were instructed to describe Warren as a candidate of the elite when talking to voters.

In a further sign of growing tensions between the two, Warren pushed back on Monday against Sanders’ denial of a CNN report that he told her in a 2018 meeting he did not believe a woman could beat Trump in the 2020 election.

The Iowa debate also comes just days before the expected start of a Senate trial to determine if Trump should be removed from office, on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from his request that Ukraine investigate Biden.

Three of the Democrats in the debate who serve in the Senate – Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar – will sit as jurors in the impeachment trial, giving them an elevated role in the process.

ALL-WHITE DEBATE STAGE

The debate stage will be the least crowded since the debates began in June, with the Democratic National Committee’s toughened polling and fundraising requirements to qualify eliminating other candidates.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, an Asian American who participated in last month’s seven-candidate debate, did not make the cut this time, leaving an all-white field of debaters in a party that prides itself on its diversity.

The withdrawal from the race on Monday of U.S. Senator Cory Booker, an African American, leaves only one black candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, in what had once been the most diverse field of presidential contenders in U.S. history.

The uncrowded stage should help some candidates connect with more voters, giving them a bigger spotlight and more time to explain their views.

Warren, Buttigieg and Klobuchar all need a win or a top-tier showing in Iowa to propel them into the next contests in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Some of the biggest strongholds for Biden and Sanders are in later early voting states – South Carolina for Biden and New Hampshire for Sanders – giving them more of a shot to recover from a poorer-than-expected showing. But a decisive win in Iowa could allow either of them to take control of the race.

“For the candidates who are putting all their chips in Iowa, this might be your last chance. It’s now or never,” said Kelly Dietrich, a Democratic strategist who runs a national training program for political candidates and staff.

The Iowa debate will be the first of four to be held in slightly more than a month as the first four states kick off the voting in February. The next debate will be Feb. 7 in New Hampshire, followed by debates on Feb. 19 in Nevada and Feb. 25 in South Carolina.

(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Peter Cooney)

Responses

  1. James,

    Notice the unhinged recatcton from the Genital? Bernie Bro is shorthand for Socialist cultist.

    As before, the Genital has no truths, discussions, or anything besides trolling. Maybe it’s a hallmark of the Socialist revolutionaries/parasites that they lack reason or the abilities to support themselves.

    Parasites who want to take other peoples’ money.

  2. “Just received that 9 minute video of the mentally unhinged Socialist/Communist in an email from James O’Keefe at Project Veritas.” Confused James

    I knew it! No wonder you are so confused.

    If you haven’t figured them out yet, P.J. doctors recordings to confuse unthinking people, such as yourself. NOBODY was selling baby parts, but P.J. convinced YOU into thinking that they did. Kyle Jurek isn’t “mentally unhinged”, as you say, he was just pissed drunk.

  3. “Isn’t CNN where you get all your information?” Confused James

    Since you finally asked politely, no, not unless they are the exclusive source. Don’t get all confused now, ya hear?

  4. >Screwtape<

    Just received that 9 minute video of the mentally unhinged Socialist/Communist Kyle Jurek in an email from James O'Keefe at Project Veritas. That Jurek creep – like most other certifiable nut jobs – needs to be fitted with a muzzle and a strait jacket. The filthy language he uses is enough for ANY decent human being to not vote for his leader – Commie Bernie. Under a Commie Bernie, we could expect even more Communism than any other Nation has experienced under a Fascist dictator. Load up on more ammo for their Civil War.

    1. “Just received that 9 minute video of the mentally unhinged Socialist/Communist in an email from James O’Keefe at Project Veritas.” Confused James

      I knew it! No wonder you are so confused.

      If you haven’t figured them out yet, P.J. doctors recordings to confuse unthinking people, such as yourself. NOBODY was selling baby parts, but P.J. convinced YOU into thinking that they did. Kyle Jurek isn’t “mentally unhinged”, as you say, he was just pissed drunk.

  5. In case anyone missed it, Kyle Jurek, Bernie’s bro and campaigner in IA, has spelled out their agenda. It is a Cuban-style revolution (note that that was Communist).

    Not surprising, when one considers the impenetrable hostility and stupidity of folks like the Genital. They are the latest version of the Red Guard here in the US.

    Jurek wants cities burning. He wants cops beaten and/or killed. He wants ANY who do not agree with the “revolution” sent to gulags (re-education camp). He wants wealthy Leftist Dimocrats, the MSM sympathizers, and the elitist wealthy “up against the wall”(i.e. the one where they mass-execute people). He has literally said as much.

    Anyone who remains unconvinced that these are the new American Commies is in denial. They are Antifa except coming to every town in America. Stock up on ammo, guns, and supplies.

    …and some think my predictions of a civil war are far-fetched.

    1. Couldn’t you have thrown in some more stereotypes or trigger words? Come on, I know you can.

  6. Well….Chief Seated Bull has already buried the tomahawk in Bernie.

    Gropin’ Joe will probably make some point about teaching Nebraska coal miners to code AND he opposed the Iraq war (he did not).

    The Butt will likely tout how “moderate” he is because his success as a mayor is nothing to brag about.

    Bernie? I wonder if someone will bring up those outre and misogynistic rape stories he wrote? Or the harassment charges from his last campaign?

    …is there anyone with a chance in tonight’s debate? Steyer can always say “I was FOR fossil fuels before I was against them.”

    1. “I wonder if someone will bring up those outre [sic] and misogynistic rape stories he wrote?” I Ching

      I am confused.

      How the hell would YOU know what fantasies a woman has running through her head when she is copulating? Are you a psychiatrist? Not that I have heard you say so.

  7. “There can be only one.”–Gregory Wden,”Highlander”.

    Funny how that ONE will still be a wealthy, white, elderly person (Lizzie’s dubious DNA percentage of South American native aside). Maybe the Butt is the chosen one.

    Nahh.

  8. Time is running out? Iowa is the first race, not the 57th.

  9. ““I envision a much more aggressive debate than we have seen in the past, primarily because the stakes have gotten higher as the calendar has gotten shorter,” said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis” Article

    I still laugh at the IJR members who were commenting earlier on just how large the Democratic Party’s nomination list was. It was as if you thought that it would never, ever be smaller, yet here we are. Twelve left, only six on the debate stage. In a few months there will be only one, as usual. Imagine that.

    1. They have forgotten that in 2016, 12 R’s participated in the Iowa caucuses after which Santorum, Huckabee and Rand Paul dropped out.

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