Beto failed to help his bid
Overnight we have had the first of the Democratic debates held in Miami in the possible swing state of Florida which the party needs to win next year if it is to have a chance of beating Trump.
The Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren , had a big boost before the debate started with a new Economist YouGov poll having her at 19% just 6 points behind the front-runner Joe Biden. This is the closest she has got to the former vice president so far in this campaign.
The general view was she performed confidently and well underpinning her position in both the betting and the polling. She is going to be a formidable opponent.
There are so many contenders for the Democratic nomination that the first debate has had to be split up into two phases. This was the first and tonight we will have the second in which Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will be on the platform.
Such was the range of people on the stage last night that someone like myself who closely follows US politics could barely name more than half of them.
A big loser, I thought, was Beto O’Rourke, who came to prominence in last November’s midterm elections when he came close to un-seating Texas senator Ted Cruz. He simply wasn’t distinctive enough in such a large field to make an impression.
Warren’s performance and new polling position puts extra pressure on Joe Biden during his debate tonight.
One thing that the event did show is that having so many different contenders on the stage is really quite ridiculous and unmanageable. The party and the TV networks need to find a mechanism to hone it down to only those with a real chance.