Updated May 23, 2019
I work off the premise that everything usually works out in the end – except of course, when it doesn’t.
And that’s the wildly simplistic segue I’m using for the 2020 political landscape and how Tom Perez, who chairs the Democratic National Committee, is working to ensure the debates don’t turn into The Hunger Games.
But there’s always a surprise and it’s not always in October.
Time is running out for those waiting in the wings as each day means hard-fought contributions and high-profile support is being sought and acquired by declared candidates.
Case in point: former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg — both are self-effacing and intellectual powerhouses that come from humble backgrounds. Name recognition and poll numbers show these two contenders as the forerunners and while early days, this quote from Peter Kiefer’s piece in The Hollywood Reporter is the current reality: “Biden is a bona fide celebrity. Mayor Pete doesn’t have that sort of recognition,” said one political consultant.
That’s not to say Buttigieg can’t turn it around but if he’s having issues, what about the other candidates?
According to the DNC, there will be a dozen debates between now and November 2020 election. But how do you have a debate with 23 people on stage? You don’t and the DNC has promised to winnow the field to a mere 20 candidates using the following parameters: you either must have 65,000 people donate to you from across 20 states OR you receive 1 percent of support in three polls the DNC deems as qualified.
To date, that limits the field only marginally with 19 candidates assured a spot on the dais with 4 more on the verge.
The first debate will be held over two nights in Miami on June 26th and 27th with NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo set to partner.
The second debate will be in Detroit on July 30th and 31st and hosted by CNN.
Let’s see what September brings…