Six of the top Democrats vying to face Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election in November will take to the stage in Des Moines on Tuesday evening for the latest televised debate before the Iowa caucus.
Three weeks to go on the first day of the election, former US Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire investor Tom Steyer participate in Tuesday’s debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Public opinion polls show four of the candidates – Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg – in a virtual heat in the state of Hawkeye. A poll of the Des Moines Register / CNN released on Friday showed Mr. Sanders with the support of 20% of the likely caucus goers, followed by Mrs. Warren at 17%, by Mr. Buttigieg at 16% and by Mr. Biden at 15%.
Iowa caucuses are the first electoral event on the Democratic presidential primary calendar and winning the contest could provide a crucial moment. The caucus system – where voters realign if their first choice candidate does not get more than 15% of the votes in a given district – favors candidates with a high degree of preference who can get support in subsequent votes.
Leading candidates spared on the campaign trail as the February 3 caucus approaches. Given the crisis with Iran, Biden has tried to position himself as the most experienced candidate in foreign policy. But Sanders went after Biden’s record in the Senate, saying his 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war was a critical error in the judgment. Sanders was also accused by Ms. Warren of saying that a woman could not win the White House.
More than a dozen Democrats are still competing to face Mr Trump. The six who qualified for Tuesday’s debate did so based on the ballot and fundraising requirements set by the Democratic National Committee. Critics say DNC requirements prevented a wider field of candidates from participating – Tuesday’s panel is made up of only white candidates.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s decision to suspend his campaign on Monday leaves only one black candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, still in the race. Neither Mr. Patrick nor entrepreneur Andrew Yang, an Asian-American, qualified for Tuesday’s debate.
Surprisingly, former hedge fund manager Steyer cut the debate last week after two Fox News polls showed him with 15% of the vote in South Carolina and 12% in Nevada, two early elections were . Steyer never held an elected office, but he founded two political organizations: NextGen America, a progressive political action committee and Need to Impeach, which called for Trump’s impeachment.
Steyer’s critics say they “acquired” recognition of the name through an aggressive advertising campaign funded largely by his own wealth. The only candidate who has spent more than Mr. Steyer is Michael Bloomberg, a former Mayor of New York City, who launched his campaign in November and has already spent around $ 170 million on television advertising and hired 1,000 employees in the United States.
Bloomberg’s decision not to accept outside donations excludes him from taking part in democratic debates, as the DNC requires that candidates have attracted the support of a large number of donors.
Tuesday’s debate will also be the last time that candidates will share a stage before Trump’s impeachment process begins in the United States Senate.
The impending trial – which is expected to last six days a week for a month or more – will complicate the campaign for the four US senators still in the race: Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar and Michael Bennet in Colorado. The senators, who will actually act as jurors, should participate in the procedure every day.
Asked how a trial would affect his presidential bid, Warren said that “some things are more important than politics.”
But last week he admitted that a trial would hinder his election campaign, saying Politico: “There are many ways to reach out and talk to people. But the best and most important is the face to face, the handshake, a hug and the ability to support children so they can take pictures with you, ask a question to make a pinkie promise. “
The process could also present challenges for Mr Biden. The investigation into the Chamber’s impeachment focused on Mr. Trump to convince the Ukrainian president to publicly announce an investigation into the former U.S. vice president and his son, Hunter Biden. Trump said last week that he wanted both Bidens to testify in his trial. Joe Biden said he would stick to “every quote that was sent to me.”