The Democratic Party attempted to balance out their debates by having two groups for the upcoming debate, but now it has become a stacked deck. The Democrats are dividing the top-tier candidates into two groups and divided them among two stages for the first set of primary debates. While they wanted to avoid a “kiddie table,” repeat of 2016, they failed to do that.
Luck of the draw placed Biden and Bernie Sanders on the same stage at the same night. They will share the stage by two other popular candidates, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg. Elizabeth Warren managed to find herself on the other stage. Not everyone came out winners and losers in the debate draw.
Most of the candidates running for president were hoping to find themselves face to face with Biden or Sanders. They wanted to contrast themselves with the top two candidates.
Based on the DNC’s drawing, Harris and Buttigieg will now have that opportunity. When it comes to getting the nomination, every candidate wants airtime with the top candidates. The first debate’s lineup offers Buttigieg and Harris has that opportunity. Harris will make her appearance without facing pressure from Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Harris will make her appearance on the second night and will be able to set herself apart as a candidate, and someone who finds herself ideologically in between Biden and Sanders.
While it appears Warren lost out, her performance on the first night will be seen by a high viewership. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sens. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar will appear on the first night. Former Clinton staffer Jesse Ferguson told Bloomberg, that no matter who is on stage on the first night, it will draw increased interest from those who are just starting to make decisions about the election.
For those who fill the stage on the second night, will have time to respond to the candidates from the first night. The second-night candidates can make arguments to whatever is brought up during the first night. DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa told Fox News that they believe that both nights will get high viewership.
As the media calls Miami home for two days, they will need to fill airtime throughout the day. Part of their need will be filled by President Trump’s expected responses to the debates. The media will also turn to candidates who failed to secure a spot on the debate stage. Former campaign staffers have said it would benefit candidates including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Rep. Seth Moulton if they appeared in Miami. They could end up with more airtime than certain candidates featured in the debates.