Democratic voters have gone from wondering if there will be any debates to learning that they will be treated to six debates between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primary. The Democratic debates will occur Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The location of the other two debates has not been determined yet.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, “Our debate schedule will not only give Democratic voters multiple opportunities to size up the candidates for the nomination side-by-side, but will give all Americans a chance to see a unified Democratic vision of economic opportunity and progress — no matter whom our nominee may be.”
Hillary Clinton tweeted her excitement about the debates:
While GOP debates the same failed policies, Democrats will debate how to help families get ahead. Looking forward to a real conversation. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 5, 2015
Republicans will 9-12 primary debates, but with dozens of candidates potentially running for their party’s nomination, it is questionable whether any of the candidates will be able to stand out.
Let’s be honest, it became much easier for the Democratic Party to schedule debates after Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy. The DNC was going to have a difficult time with putting together a compelling debate schedule if the candidates were Hillary Clinton and a bunch of people that no one has ever heard of.
Democratic voters are going to get a chance to see their candidates discuss the issues face to face. The worst fear of many Democrats was that former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton would have no opposition. What is taking shape on the Democratic side is far from a coronation.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and anyone else who enters the Democratic field are going to give primary voters a real choice. While Republicans are beating each other to a pulp, Democrats will be refining their message for November.
It all could not have worked out better for Democrats as they head into 2016.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association