Tonight in the US the fight for the Democratic nomination for next year’s White House Race moves to a new stage with the first TV debate between the wannabe nominees.
Because so many figures within the party have put their names forward the debate is going to be spread over two nights and tonight’s line up includes Elizabeth Warren heading a group of ten. Joe Biden, the current favourite, will feature on Thursday night.
To qualify to appear the Democratic party has insisted that each nominee must be able to demonstrate they have 65,000 individual campaign donors including at least 200 each in 20 States. The alternative is to have at least 1% support in at least three polls.
With so many people there this is being quite a high bar but clearly one that is necessary given the numbers.
If any of the outsiders are to have an impact then they need to do well in their first debate
Generally the American public only starts getting interested in the fight once the debates have started and the premium that those contenders currently with high name recognition have in the polls will be less of an issue.
As the betting chart shows Biden has remained pretty consistent but we have seen a solid move to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in recent weeks. Her rise has been mainly at the expense of 77 year old Bernie Sanders who competes for the left wing base.
I remain totally unconvinced of the 76 yer old favourite who has a reputation for being gaff-prone, something reinforced by his comments about working with segregationists during his early career. His phraseology was awkward with his attempts to respond to criticism barely convincing.