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Donkey Dow: December debate desperation

Which candidates will survive the winter?

October 25, 2019

6:43 PM

25 October 2019

6:43 PM

The Donkey Dow is a round-up of the movers and shakers in the race to face up against Donald Trump. Here’s how the candidates and contenders fared over the last few days.

donkey dow december

The DNC announced its strictest requirements yet on Friday for the Democratic presidential debate at the University of California, Los Angeles on December 19. Politico, who will be co-hosting the debate with CBS, provided a breakdown of the necessary qualifications:

‘To make the December debate, candidates must hit 4 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls of primary voters nationally or in early-voting states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina) — or, instead, they can qualify by hitting 6 percent in two approved early-state polls. Candidates must also bring in donations from 200,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 800 donors in 20 states, territories or the District of Columbia.’

How will these requirements impact the Democratic presidential field? Cockburn provides analysis.


Joe Biden is one of three candidates who have already qualified for December’s debate, but the former vice president has more to worry about than debate appearances. Earlier this month, former president Barack Obama endorsed blackface addict Justin Trudeau for his prime minister reelection bid, but continues to withhold an endorsement for his former White House bunkmate. Where is the love for good old Joe?

Bernie Sanders, who has also qualified for December’s debate, recently picked up endorsements by progressive stars Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. Cockburn is only slightly amused that the young faces of the Democratic Party are endorsing the oldest candidate in the field — socialist ideas truly transcend generational divides. Just look at that youth outreach!

Elizabeth Warren, the only other candidate to qualify for December, recently received praise from conspiracy theorist’s boogeyman George Soros. In an interview with the New York Times, Soros said Warren ‘has emerged as the clear-cut person to beat,’ and ‘is the most qualified to be president.’ Nice going, Senator!

Out for now

According to the New York TimesKamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg are the only candidates ‘on the cusp’ of qualifying for the December debate. As they both need to hit 4 percent in one more national poll, expect both to appear on the debate stage in December. This is great news for supporters of age diversity: if Buttigieg and Harris join the debate, the average age of participants will drop by 11 years.

Outside looking in

Cockburn will get the straightforward calls out of the way. Steve Bullock, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennet, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Wayne Messam and Joe Sestak: it’s time to pack your bags. We’ve had a lot of fun together but clocking 0 percent in national polls is a solid indicator that it’s time to leave. Let Tim Ryan lead the way.

Another candidate low in the polls, Tulsi Gabbard, recently announced that she will not seek reelection for her spot in Congress. In Gabbard world, a 1.3 percent polling average is a good sign to go all-in for the presidency. Cockburn will not be shocked if the congresswoman misses the debate in December.

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer burned through $47 million of his own money to get on the debate stage in October. Despite an anemic performance in the polls, Cockburn never counts out the US dollar. Expect Steyer to be front and center at the December debate.

Lastly, if Cockburn was advising any of the ‘mid-tier’ candidates — Cory BookerAmy KlobucharBeto O’Rourke, or Andrew Yang — he would tell them to focus on the November presidential debate. The race for vice president requires patience, which all four candidates have demonstrated thus far. Hang in there.

Got a tip for Cockburn? Email cockburn@spectator.us.

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