Detroit Rock City – Did any Rock Stars Emerge from Day 1 of the DNC Debates?

Detroit Rock City – Did any Rock Stars Emerge from Day 1 of the DNC Debates?

July 31, 20192 min read

It was the first of two crucial days for anyone looking to lead the DNC into the 2020 election next fall.  The reality is, with more candidates on the field than a World Cup soccer match, it’s too crowded for the very limited amount of airtime, fundraising and attention needed to win this race.

Quite soon, there will need to be a substantial culling of this herd.  Odds are, come the end of summer the field will be whittled down to three or four from the current two dozen (or so) currently contesting.

Last night was Day 1 of the DNC debates in Detroit.  Here were the key takeaways:

  • Bernie Sanders came out spitting fire about health care and tried to reassert his prominence. Sanders has receded recently, was this the resurgence he needed?
  • Pete Buttigieg made it clear he is the young, fresh and non-Washington choice – will it stick and can he gain traction?
  • Montana Governor Steve Bullock knew this was his shot to get the attention a campaign needs. Late to the game, can he emerge as a credible candidate?
  • And Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke seemed to fade into the crowd – is this a death knell for a campaign at this point?

It was a long night and another one happens tonight.

  • So, who emerged as the winner and who fell hard on Day 1?
  • Who needs to leave?
  • And what were the key policy planks that are starting to stick

There is still a long way to go until the first Iowa primary in February, but if you are a journalist covering this long road – let us help.

Dr. Stephen Farnsworth is professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington. A published author and a media ‘go-to’ on U.S. politics, he is available to speak with media regarding the long journey to lead the DNC in 2020. Simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.

Connect with:
  • Stephen Farnsworth
    Stephen Farnsworth Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

    Dr. Farnsworth has spent decades researching how media and politics intersect. Check out his website at

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