What to Expect From Tonight's Democratic Debate In South Carolina?

Long-anticipated CBS’ Democratic Debate will start at 8 PM EST. Seven candidates will take the stage at the Gaillard Center in Charleston in a final debate just one week before Super Tuesday. Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer breaks down what to expect tonight. 

Mike Bloomberg, although not on a ballot in South Carolina has invested a lot of money in Super Tuesday ads and since Nevada a considerable effort to attack the front runner Bernie Sanders. Tonight, Bloomberg is expected to come out aggressively against the self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sanders, which may not be the best strategy since Bloomberg’s main competition is Joe Biden. 

Mike Bloomberg has spent three million dollars in black American newspapers to warm up to those voters, but he still has to make the case for himself tonight. 

Joe Biden is putting all his stakes on South Carolina primary. Since the first primary, we have been hearing how neither Iowa nor New Hampshire were relevant even though the results from Iowa have been for seven times able to predict the Nominee. Biden underperformed despite all the expectations and South Carolina primary is all he is hoping for. 

Amy Klobuchar should be congratulated on getting this far in the campaign. One of the reasons no one placed a bet on her, is that she kind of stayed off the radar for the larger part of the campaign. That is a different approach from Kamala Harris who disappeared before anyone could have imagined. Kamala started strong on the first night of democratic debate but I remember saying on air to Adam Boulton that this strategy may not prove the best for her going forward. And it did not. Political elections in America are a marathon, a candidate has to strategize the pace, to know when to step on and when to lay low and Kamala miscalculated. 

Pete Buttigieg will continue to be aggressive tonight. In Nevada, the former Mayor of Indiana’s South Band has dedicated his free airtime to go after Bernie Sanders. In addition to Sanders, Pete is competing with Amy Klobuchar for the same pool of voters. Like Bloomberg, attacking the front runner may prove as a wrong strategy for him given that he is just a younger version of Joe Biden. Buttigieg’s politics are not considerably more progressive than Biden’s so it’s unclear in what way, if any, is he a choice between a revolution and the status quo? Pete Buttigieg has to eliminate candidates similar to him in order to position himself in a clear opposition against Bernie Sanders. 

Elizabeth Warren did very well in the Democratic Debate in Las Vegas but that did not translate into big success in the Nevada caucuses. The reason why Warren has been underperforming despite her experience, quality and the support of celebrities such as John Legend, is the highly fractured political climate. Warren is a center-left candidate and the society is hungry for an outsider who is a counterpart of Donald Trump.  

Bernie Sanders is a response to the nationalism of Donald Trump, a phenomenon that occurred many times in Europe but is new to the modern electoral process in America. While the mainstream, centrist candidate would probably be the most desirable president for America, society has changed, dramatically under Trump and is seeking an answer in an outsider who was in the opposition for most of his life. 

Tom Steyer is tagging along. Somehow, he managed to survive this long in the game. It is not relevant how Steyer will do tonight, no matter what he does he can’t win the nomination. What’s relevant is who he'll endorse once he drops out after this Saturday and Super Tuesday. As will be the case with many others. 

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Democratic Debate South Carolina 2020 Election Bernie Sanders Pete Buttigieg Elizabeth Warren Amy Klobuchar Joe Biden

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