With Democratic Field In Flux, What To Watch For At The November Debate
Added 11-19-19 06:07:02am EST - “Pete Buttigieg may face scrutiny after popping in the polls. Elizabeth Warren provided answers about her health care plan, and now she'll have to defend them. And is the field finally set?” - Npr.org
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The Democratic presidential primary has taken a back seat to the impeachment inquiry over the past few months, so it's fitting that the fifth candidate debate will take place on the same day that the most anticipated impeachment witness, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.
But a lot more than the path to impeachment has changed since the Democratic candidates last gathered on the debate stage.
New candidates have entered — and semi-entered — the race, though neither former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick nor former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be in Wednesday's debate. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg has taken Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's place as the surging candidate of the moment. And after months of catering to the progressive activist wing of the party, more and more candidates are now focusing their pitches on moderate voters.
In October, Buttigieg was one of several candidates who repeatedly used their time to criticize Warren. "Your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything, except for this," he memorably said about her lack of a detailed explanation to fund a "Medicare for All" health care system.
At the time, Warren was the candidate rising in the polls. Now, Buttigieg is moving up fast. The Des Moines Register's latest Iowa Poll shows Buttigieg with a commanding 9-point lead over Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Other surveys also show Buttigieg polling well in New Hampshire, though struggling in the other two early contests with more diverse electorates: South Carolina and Nevada.
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