Sep 13, 2019

The candidates' elevator pitches from the third Democratic debate

The third Democratic debate saw a condensed field of 10 candidates, but they each stuck largely to an easily condensible strategy to stay on top or make some noise.

Why it matters: Even with 3 hours for the debate, it's hard to get a lot of speaking time. Joe Biden led the pack with 17 minutes and 22 seconds while Andrew Yang didn't even crack 8 minutes, per the New York Times. That makes it vital to hammer home to voters exactly what you represent.

The Democrats' elevator pitches:

  • Joe Biden: Keep your head down, even while others are attacking you, and do the work. This is a long election cycle.
  • Elizabeth Warren: Mix big, sweeping proposals with personal stories (being a school teacher, going to college in Houston, etc.).
  • Bernie Sanders: Remind people that you're the original.
  • Kamala Harris: Remember that President Trump is the real opponent; voters value electability. 
  • Pete Buttigieg: Be the adult in the room.
  • Amy Klobuchar: Make an actual case for a moderate Dem in 2020.
  • Julián Castro: Be Scrappy Doo! Lemme at 'em!

Go deeper: 5 takeaways from the third Democratic debate

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CNN's October Democratic debate will take place on 1 night

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

October's Democratic primary debates hosted by CNN and the New York Times will be take place on a single night — Oct. 15 — with 12 candidates on stage.

Why it matters: Even as lower-tier candidates have been racing to reach the Democratic National Committee's higher qualification requirements, the crowded stage will further limit the field's ability to stand out. September's debate, which had 10 candidates on stage over 3 hours, only saw 2 candidates, frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, get more than 15 minutes of speaking time, per the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowSep 27, 2019

5 takeaways from the third Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Thursday's 3-hour Democratic debate marked the first time the top contenders all squared off on 1 stage, resulting in the 2020 cycle's most comprehensive discussion yet among the candidates most likely to face Donald Trump as the party's nominee.

The big picture: Joe Biden, who remains atop the polls despite being bombarded with nonstop negative press, had a strong showing out of the gate, but at times found himself getting lost in his own answers. A hoarse-sounding Bernie Sanders stuck to his brand but was confronted over his self-described socialist agenda, while the rest of the pack struggled to hit fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren with an attack line that landed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 13, 2019

Enthusiasm for Elizabeth Warren surges in new 2020 poll

Elizabeth Warren speaks during a rally in Washington Square Park in New York City, Sept. 16. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has surged 6% since July in a new WSJ/NBC poll of 506 Democratic primary voters, breaking out from the rest of the field to secure her spot in 2nd place (25%) behind former Vice President Joe Biden (31%).

The big picture: Despite polling behind Biden in the overall horserace, Warren led the pack when voters were asked which candidates they feel "enthusiastic" about. The poll shows her enthusiasm figures have grown from 20% in March to 35% in September, while Biden has dropped from 33% to 23%. On Monday night, Warren drew her largest campaign rally crowd of the 2020 cycle when over 20,000 people came out to New York City's Washington Square Park.

Go deeperArrowSep 17, 2019