Reasons Why The Three-Person Democratic Debate Is Actually Going To Be More Exciting Than You Think
The Democratic field has gotten significantly smaller over the past month, dropping from five presidential candidates to just three. Compared to the baseball team playing for the Republican Party, sometimes it feels like the Democrats threw a shindig that no one showed up for. But heading into Saturday's debate, the three-person Democratic debate is actually going to be more exciting than we give it credit for.
The Nov. 14 debate, which takes place in Iowa, will feature front-runner Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. After just one debate, long-shot candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee both dropped out of the race (as did non-factor Lawrence Lessig). It's going to be a little weird for America to watch such a thinly attended debate, given that we've now had four GOP debates with three times as many candidates on stage.
But at least we can be guaranteed that every individual on stage Saturday will put forth a good showing. Clinton, who's been regaining her earlier traction in the polls, was able to maintain the gap following the first debate. Sanders, who has been a continual surprise, remains consistent in giving Clinton reason to take him seriously. And O'Malley — who was a virtual unknown before the debate — will receive some much needed face time. The smaller field holds nothing but benefits — you've just got to look at it the right way.
This Is The First Debate Since Clinton And Sanders Started Fighting
In the first debate, we all saw how great it was when mom and dad got along. Now, we're going to see how awkward it is when they're fighting. Compared to their Republican counterparts, there's not a lot of bad blood between the two, but things have started to heat up. Since the debate, Sanders has pointed out Clinton's history of flip-flopping, including her previous support of the Defense of Marriage Act and her vote in favor of the 2002 Iraq war, insinuating that she acts based on "political expediency." It will be interested to see if Clinton chooses to respond.
There Will Likely Be More Questions
The five previous debates have shown how horribly boring it is when the candidates drag out one question about the economy into a 15-minute shouting fest. Luckily, that probably won't happen on Saturday. Although the candidates will get a lot more time to speak, the moderators will likely have a multitude of questions prepared to keep things going. This means that viewers will get to hear the candidates' ideas on a broader selection of issues, and more information is always a good thing.
We Get To Learn More About O'Malley
When O'Malley showed up during the first debate, a lot of Americans had to acknowledge that the guy is actually quite attractive. But now that the initial shock is past us, we can focus less on his blue eyes and more on his policy. Due to there being fewer candidates, O'Malley will definitely get more time to show Americans why he could make a decent president — and maybe get in a good word as a potential VP candidate.
There Will Actually Be Time For Discussion
The first debate made it pretty clear that the candidates weren't wiling to attack each other on the debate stage. But with the extra time, they'll have the flexibility to engage in an actual back-and-forth debate. Instead of rushing to get speaking points out or trying to talk over another candidate, the small field will allow for substantial discussions in which they can swap views. Which will be so extremely refreshing.
Pretty much the only downside to the three-person debate on Saturday is the loss of Webb's somewhat alarming comments and Chafee's attempt to prove he's actually a Democrat. But if we're lucky, maybe the two will take to Twitter during the event, so we won't have to miss out on much.