Sunday, November 3, 2019

November's Debate Will Be Decisive

We are at the point now where the Democratic candidates for president need to break out or go home. It looks like we will lose some key voices, such as Kamala Harris and Corey Booker, and Beto O'Rourke has already left the building. The November debate could also be the turning point for Andrew Yang and Julian Castro, though the latter had a late surge in fundraising which allowed him to qualify for the show.

Then there was the Iowa poll that showed Elizabeth Warren leading the pack, and a new national poll that shows Biden with a lead not just among Democrats, but a 12 point lead over the president. And it's got FOX News written all over it. Another poll puts Biden in the lead, but with a smaller margin and some caveats about his policy positions and performance on the campaign trail.

This week also saw Warren give some details about what will likely be a $20 trillion dollar plan to pay for her Medicare for all health policy. Other estimates put the cost at $34 trillion because she seems to be overestimating just how efficient the government can run the program, but you get the idea. It's going to be expensive and it redistributes the tax system so that the ultra wealthy pay a lot more.

Many people have criticized the plan because they say it will ultimately require middle class taxpayers to pay more too, but I'd like to see how much the middle class will save in health insurance premiums in return for tax increases. I'm thinking that those will turn out to be far less than the premiums, making it a net gain for most earners. Warren, and the press, need to publicize that aspect of her plan.

Pete Buttigieg is also rising in these polls and is fourth in both Iowa and nationally. He and Amy Klubichar are hoping they can build on their more moderate positions in the November debate and attract those who are wary of the Warren?Sanders left and the more jittery Biden supporters who are unsure that he can rise above his other debate performances.

November's debate will be key because there are no debates in December, and then only a month before the voting begins, so each candidate will be looking for that signature moment, or to quell any concerns from past debates.  In the end, this election will come down to the Midwestern states that the president won in 2016, and possibly North Carolina. Texas is still a long-shot.

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