Rachel Maddow predicted on Thursday night that the Democratic primary could be days away from a major shakeup.
According to the MSNBC host, as many as 10 of the Democratic hopefuls could withdraw from the primary race if they don’t qualify for the next debate. As Maddow pointed out, the deadline to qualify falls in the middle of next week.
“Some of them aren’t even close. And some of these folks, it should be said, may try to gut it out and stay in the race even if they don’t make the next debate,” she said. “But a bunch of them likely will not.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 23, 2019
Watching Inslee and Hickenlooper make those leaps today I think only puts a further spotlight on what we’re expecting to come in days ahead. Right now I think the smart money says we’re going to see a few other iterations on this theme in the next few days. And that’s simply — it’s not that I have any intel on any individual candidate. It’s because simply, the deadlines are rolling in. The middle of next week is the deadline for Democratic candidates to qualify for the next Democratic presidential debate. And they need to qualify both by fundraising numbers and by polling. And so far, this whole list of Democratic presidential contenders has not yet qualified for the next debate. They are all trying to get there, but they’ve only got until the middle of the next week to do it. Some of them aren’t even close. And some of these folks, it should be said, may try to gut it out and stay in the race even if they don’t make the next debate. But a bunch of them likely will not. This is likely to be a cut bait moment for more candidates than just the two who have dropped out within the past week.
A smaller field will benefit voters and the Democratic Party
We’ve already seen a pair of Democratic primary dates, each split into two nights due to the large size of the field. No matter which candidate you may support, nobody will miss that format.
A smaller field will give viable candidates a chance to debate in a way that is much more beneficial to voters.
It will also benefit the Democratic Party more broadly as some of these candidates drop out of the presidential race and transition into races they can actually win, particularly for the U.S. Senate.
As John Hickenlooper has already announced, he will be running for Senate in Colorado to pick off a Republican seat currently held by Sen. Cory Gardner. Polling shows Hickenlooper in a good position to win that seat.
In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee – who dropped out of the Democratic primary on Wednesday – announced he will be seeking a third term as the state’s governor.
Other candidates who haven’t yet seen the traction they had hoped for, like Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Steve Bullock of Montana, are also seen as potential Senate candidates in their states if they drop out of the primary race.
Ultimately, a smaller Democratic field will give the remaining candidates an opportunity to have a more substantive debate. It could also help the party in its crucial effort to win back to the U.S. Senate.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.