Live Blog: Night 2 of the First Democratic DebatePosted: June 27, 2019
Tonight 10 more Democratic presidential candidates will debate at 9PM Eastern in Miami. Last night’s debate dominated TV ratings. Will the second night–with more first tier candidates–attract even more viewers?
Most of the contenders pulling in big poll numbers take the stage in Miami later today for Night 2 of the Democratic debates on NBC, but Night 1 has set a pretty high bar for Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and the rest to reach. That bar, however, is well below what both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drew in the early stages of the 2016 Presidential election.
When NBC, MSNBC and Telemndo are all added up, Nielsen has the showdown last night pulling in 15.3 million viewers.
As we detailed earlier today and now have further confirmed, the total viewing numbers for last night’s warm-up debate of sorts are far behind the audience of 24 million that the first GOP debate pulled in in August 2015 on Fox News. Last night is also down 4.3% from what the five-0person first Democratic debate snagged in October 2015 on CNN….
In a look at the reality of small screen viewing in 2019, Night 1’s live stream saw more than 9 million viewers and 14 million video views across all platforms. Those services included the heft of NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, Telemundo.com, NBC News NOW on OTT devices, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The candidates in tonight’s debate are: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Kirstin Gillibrand, Andrew Yang, Eric Swalwell, Michael Bennett, John Hickenlooper, and Marianne Williamson.
Thursday night’s debate will have the bigger characters, and the more obvious frame: Joe Biden versus Bernie Sanders, center versus left. But there’s also a Colorado senator (Michael Bennet) versus a Colorado governor (John Hickenlooper), and an online phenomenon (Andrew Yang) versus a spiritual guru (Marianne Williamson). Wednesday night suggested that, with ten candidates onstage, the points of contrast will be more opportunistic and less predictable than we might expect—a knife fight, not a duel.
We’ll see. With both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in the lineup, we’re likely to see plenty of finger-wagging.
It’s all about Joe Biden now.
The former vice president could solidify his status as the favorite to win his party’s presidential nomination with a strong debate performance here Thursday night.
But more than two months into a campaign noteworthy for the candidate’s limited interaction with the public and the news media, Biden could also walk out severely hobbled.
Voters, Biden’s Democratic rivals and President Donald Trump will be looking for any sign that he has lost heat off his fastball as a candidate — a gaffe, a moment of indecision or an inability to explain either his past or his plans for the future.
Any slip could be costly because Biden has built his lead in the polls in part on the perception of strength, and because he has struggled in recent weeks to effectively communicate about his change on a decades-old position in favor of restricting federal funding for abortion and his relationships with segregationist senators during his first terms in the Senate.
Even a lack of luster could spell trouble for the 76-year-old former senator from Delaware.
Read more at the link above.
The New York Times: Democratic Debate 2019: What to Watch for on Night 2.
Like last night:
The candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds for rebuttals. There will be no opening statements, and each candidate will give a one-minute closing statement. The debate will be broken up into five segments with four commercial breaks.
Lester Holt of NBC News is the moderator. He will be joined in the first hour by Savannah Guthrie of the “Today” show and José Díaz-Balart of Telemundo. Chuck Todd of “Meet the Press” and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC will appear in the second hour.
Every candidate but one on stage Thursday has recently participated in a nationally televised town hall forum, taking tough questions with the cameras rolling. The exception is Mr. Biden.
The first debate will be one of the first times since he entered the race that Mr. Biden, the former vice president, will be pressed for answers about both his record and his vision for the future. He’ll answer in front of a national audience of millions.
Yes, Mr. Biden has run for president twice before, and has been on the debate stage in recent memory — when he ran on his own in 2008, and in the vice-presidential debate that year and in 2012. But years have passed since then, and given that he would be the oldest president ever elected, one of the first tests he will face is whether he looks rusty on stage.
Mr. Biden’s early strength in the polls is expected to make him a magnet for scrutiny, as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont seeks a foil for his argument that there is “no middle ground” when it comes to progressive priorities and others seek to chip away at Mr. Biden’s early lead.
There’s much more about tonight’s candidates at the NYT link.
Last night, MSNBC began their debate coverage at 8PM, so I’ll be turning it on then, and I’ll try to make it to the end. I hope you will join us and share your reactions tonight.