Presidential 2020 Democratic Debate

The presidential 2020 Democratic debate will be our first look into this wide and deep field of candidates. Who will stand out, and why? Political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi breaks it down.


Joe Biden has dominated the poll numbers since entering the race this year. He has been holding a solid lead since then. A career politician and Vice President during Obama’s presidency,  he clearly has the highest recognition profile. This would likely be followed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

New faces are however beginning to pick up traction.  Candidates are traveling the country for campaign events and appearing on televised town hall events. Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris are some that stood out on Town Hall events hosted by Fox News.

Joe Biden hasn’t appeared on Fox. But, he is getting more brand recognition from the President himself than any other candidate. Trump regularly Tweets manically about Biden or mentions him in press interviews. Somehow, though, that he expends so much energy playing down Biden, would seem to suggest Trump sees him as a threat.

Joe Biden has firmly planted himself in the race as the moderate. He speaks about making America the once respected nation it was; restoring decency and common sense to the Office of the President. Bernie Sanders continues to rail against wealth inequality, the high cost of medication and health care, and deteriorating education. Bernie also has a radically different view of government responsibility and implementation as Biden.

Following on Bernie’s heels, others have also adopted more progressive stances. Elizabeth Warren speaks like a progressive. And to her credit has presented more policy statements (along with how to pay for them) than any other candidate.  This could have been a strategy, and if so, it seems to be working as her campaign has gained traction.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg took the airwaves early on. Through televised interviews (and Town Hall events) he has also gained traction. He is smart, a highly-educated Rhodes scholar, who speaks eloquently and directly.  Kamala Harris is a pit bull of a candidate. Many of you may have seen her direct fierceness during congressional hearings. Unlike many politicians that get broomed aside by evasive answers, she wasn’t one of them. She uses her prosecutor experience to laser-focus on the question and corrals the interviewee to answer or deflect, with the result in the spotlight for all to see.

With the first Democrat Debate coming up on June 26th, with so many candidates, this may be like anything seen before.

Presidential 2020 Democratic Debate

Biden is as likable as your favorite uncle might be. Warren is good at a personal sort of wonky likable, authentically concerned, who is bringing an array of policy positions and programs. Corry Booker and Kamala Harris project strong no-nonsense leadership qualities and are good at sound bites.

In this episode, Dr. Rossi discusses what to look for as you follow these and other campaigns.

 

 

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