Spotlight 2020: Democratic Candidates Update



With the second round of Democratic primary debates approaching at the beginning of next week, competition between the candidates continues to intensify. Here’s what the top ten Democratic candidates have been up to in advance of the debate.

In Robert Mueller’s testimony about his report in front of Congress, the special counsel affirmed that Russians are continuing to meddle in American elections, something that will be a significant issue in the 2020 presidential election. A Senate Intelligence Committee report released yesterday further confirmed the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, confirming that hackers tried to access election systems in all 50 states. 

In light of this new information, NPR wrote about what the Democratic presidential hopefuls plan to do about election interference. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the top-polling candidate, has largely been silent on the issue, choosing to focus instead on more polarizing issues. Senator Elizabeth Warren, currently polling second, has a plan that would create a new “Secure Democracy Administration” to monitor election security. She is also calling for a full upgrade of federal voting machinery to voter-verified paper ballots. Amy Klobuchar, who is currently in sixth place, has taken the strongest stance on cybersecurity, listing it as an immediate priority in her “First 100 Days” plan.

The Democratic candidates have all been spending a great deal of time in Iowa, where they are hoping to garner as many voters as possible before the state’s primary election in February. However, they will come face-to-face in Detroit this week, where they will undertake a series of debates on July 30th and 31st. Based on the outsized impact of the first debates (propelling Kamala Harris nearly to the top of the rankings, for example), the second round of presidential primary debates could be make-or-break for the candidates.