Last Thursday, the 2020 Democratic candidates met in Atlanta, Georgia for the fifth primary debate. The fallout from the event prompted pundits to declare winners and losers and theorize about the top takeaways. For all the bluster surrounding debate, however, the American people didn’t seem to take notice, as viewership dropped to 6.5 million – the lowest thus far during the campaign.
What have the top candidates been up to in the days following last week’s debate? Find out in our latest 2020 recap.
Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden
Possible Veep Picks: Last Friday, Biden identified several prominent Democratic women who he said could serve as his vice president if he is elected president. His list included former assistant attorney general Sally Yates, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
Top Latina Advisor Exits: Vanessa Cardenas, the most senior Latina adviser on Biden’s campaign, resigned last week over frustration with the campaign. Cardenas had served as the campaign’s national coalitions director since April 25 but quit the job last week over a perceived lack of input and the way Biden speaks about immigration.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Supporter Loyalty Matters: Although he has stalled in most national polls, Bernie Sanders’ most adamant backers expect that he will be the Democratic nominee for president and intend to back him until the bitter end. A recent analysis from The Wall Street Journal noted that Sanders’ base is more loyal than that of any other 2020 Democrat. During interviews conducted by WSJ over the last four months, Sanders’ supporters told news outlet that they wouldn’t support any other candidate as long as he is running.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Education Woes: Following the debate, Warren had a couple campaign hiccups related to her education proposals. Protesters from Powerful Parent Network interrupted a speech Warren was giving last Thursday to show their support for charter schools (which Warren opposes). Warren stumbled again at the event when she told a school choice activist that she had sent both her children to public school. The reality of the situation: Warren’s son only went to public school through 5th grade and subsequently attended a private school.
Slowed Surge: Per The Morning Consult: “After a steady late-summer rise, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is losing ground with the Democratic electorate. The latest Morning Consult poll, conducted Nov. 21-24 following Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, found 15 percent of likely Democratic primary voters prefer her as their first choice, down 2 percentage points from the previous week and marking her worst showing in the national polling since late August. The finding marks a 6-point drop from the 21 percent first-choice vote share she had held from late September through a poll conducted Oct. 16-20 following the Oct. 15 Democratic presidential debate. It erased the slight lead she held over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a candidate whose policies appeal to the type of Democratic voter her own policy plans appear to target.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Field Organizers Unionize: Last week, Buttigieg’s campaign announced that it would support its field organizers’ efforts to unionize. The campaign said it has recognized the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Chapter 2321 as the bargaining unit for staffers holding the title of “Organizer.”
Struggles With Black Americans: As Buttigieg continues his rise in the polls, pundits have begun to dig deeper into his numbers. Their findings: Buttigieg is having serious trouble connecting with African Americans. Last week, The Daily Beast’s Goldie Taylor wrote an enlightening op-ed explaining “why black voters don’t trust Mayor Pete Buttigieg.