On the eve of the Democratic Party’s primary elections in Nevada, which will be held February 22, the main contenders for the nomination for the presidency of the United States met in Las Vegas. The usual course of the election campaign was violated by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who, bypassing the first events, entered the race. Now, in addition to Donald Trump, the Democrats have a new enemy.
In Las Vegas, there was a debate about the candidates for the US presidential candidate from the Democratic Party. Six politicians took part in them: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former US Vice President of the Barack Obama administration Joe Biden, ex-Mayor of South Bend (Indiana) Pete Buttijic, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and former New York Mayor billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
This year, the National Committee of the Democratic Party departed from the usual American method of selecting candidates who can participate in the election race, when the minimum donor threshold for participation in debates is set for applicants for the nomination. Now it’s enough for politicians to get 10% in four qualifying polls at the national level, in Nevada or South Carolina itself, or 12% in polls only in Nevada and South Carolina.
Such a grading system was introduced in order to select candidates who are really popular among the population, and not just from wealthy sponsors. It was this circumstance that allowed Bloomberg to advance, who missed the first party events in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Therefore, each of the candidates, in addition to the task of defending his point of view, had an “auxiliary” in the current debate – to attack Bloomberg as efficiently as possible, which, on the whole, is knocked out of the image of the candidate from the Democratic Party, which is now being built around other candidates. The billionaire and businessman clearly do not fit into the concept of the left bank, which is taken by the most popular candidates from the party at the moment.
There is no need to talk about the success of the start of Bloomberg – he has not yet led in all ratings. According to a CNN poll, Bernie Sanders is the most popular, with 28% of registered, independent, and potential democratic voters. At Biden – 16%, Bloomberg – 15%, Warren – 13% Buttidzhicha – 10%, and at Klobushar Steyr – 7% and 2%.
ABC News gives roughly the same arrangement : Sanders – 32%, Biden – 17% (here, however, it is worth noting that the ratings of the former US vice president in January reached 30%), Bloomberg – 14%. The triumphant of the caucus in Iowa and the preliminary vote in New Hampshire Buttidzhich is gaining relatively little here – 7%.
Some polls, however, give a slightly different picture. For example, PBS Newshour and Marist Opinion Foundation put Bloomberg in second place, following Sanders.
One way or another, Bloomberg’s entry into the active phase of the election campaign has already significantly affected the balance of power, which, of course, causes irritation on the part of the democratic elites.
This determined a certain tonality of the debate in Las Vegas. Senator Elizabeth Warren, instead of presenting her program, accused Bloomberg of arrogance and disrespect for women.
“I would like to talk about who we are fighting against. Against a billionaire calling women fat cows and horse-faced lesbians. And no, I’m not talking about [US President] Donald Trump, I’m talking about [former] Mayor Bloomberg. Democrats won’t win if we nominate someone who has a history of concealing tax returns, insulting women and supporting racist policies, such as red lines, detention and search. “I will support any Democrat whoever gets the nomination, but I understand that Democrats are at great risk of simply replacing one arrogant billionaire with another,” said Warren.
Bloomberg used his answer to attack Sanders, who, according to the ex-mayor of New York, would not be able to defeat Trump if he received a nomination. The reason for this, he said, is Sanders’ views on the healthcare system and the Medicare for All payment system he offers. According to the billionaire, 160 million Americans with their own insurance plan will not support such a system that provides an equal, but less qualified, from his point of view, approach to solving medical problems.
In fact, Bloomberg consistently ignored all the attacks against him that sounded all evening and focused only on the plot of the confrontation with Trump .
“I suppose we are faced with only two questions tonight. The first is who can defeat Donald Trump. The second is who will do the job if he takes a seat in the White House. I’m sure that I am the only candidate who will definitely cope with both of these things, ”he said.
In general, this distinguishes his position from the general mainstream of the Democratic Party – he shifts the focus from the notorious and not very successful question in the last presidential cycle, “How to defeat Trump,” to the question “who will defeat Trump.”
“I am from New York. I know how to deal with an arrogant person – such as Donald Trump, who also left New York. I’m a mayor, well, or was a mayor. I know how to manage a complex city, the most fragmented city in our country. I am a manager. I knew what to do on September 11 , and made the city stronger than ever. I’m a philanthropist who didn’t receive the money from the inheritance, but I made this money, ”he said.
Pete Buttigic, one of the leaders in party events in Iowa and New Hampshire, instead of supporting colleagues and attacking Bloomberg, said Sanders was not a “true democrat.”
“Most Americans don’t see what suits them when they have to choose between a socialist who believes that capitalism is the root of all evil and a billionaire who claims that money should be the root of power and strength. Let’s put forward someone who really lives and works in a middle-class region in the industrial city of the Midwest, ”he urged.
The only one who stood out significantly from the rest of the rhetoric candidates was Joe Biden, who was relied on by the Democrats and who suffered a significant defeat at the focuses and preliminary votes at the start of the campaign.
“I was powerfully knocked down. I know how it feels to be knocked down. But we must rise and provide security and protection to the American people. Right here in Nevada, at the place where the largest massacre in American history took place. Weapons. Our children go to school and hide weapons under the desks, learn to run along the corridors to avoid a bullet. This is immoral, ”- with such an emotional message Biden tried to persuade voters to his side.
Nevertheless, the main emphasis in the struggle was put on the confrontation between billionaire Bloomberg and Sanders, who occupies leftist positions and is struggling with the influence of the rich and their privileges on the United States.
At a Democrat meeting on Saturday , a Vermont state senator said that “the American people are tired of billionaires buying elections.” Elizabeth Warren likened Bloomberg to Donald Trump and called him “the selfish billionaire.” The businessman at this debate, in fact, was only required to successfully repel all the attacks of his left opponents – Sanders and Warren.
A more moderate party wing shares preferences among other candidates. However, among them, Bloomberg, contrary to all expectations, became the main rival for Sanders. Until now, the billionaire has avoided debate, but his popularity has already reached the point where Bloomberg can’t do without a public discussion for a successful campaign. And this is a long-awaited moment for his opponents.
It is worth noting that hatred of the head of the White House has become almost the only unifying Democrats motives.
And in this direction, Bloomberg has something to brag about. Announcing his nomination in November, the billionaire outlined the main goal, proclaiming the slogan: “To defeat Trump and restore America.” He is ready to spend up to a billion dollars on this, which the other candidates cannot boast of.
As for Bernie Sanders, he, in addition to the successful attacks on Bloomberg, had another important task in the debate – to prove to voters that he is not too radical for the Democrats. He was expected to focus on combating climate change and social inequality.
The chances of Biden, who was called the most likely Democratic candidate last year, were largely influenced by the impeachment investigation, which raised questions about Biden’s activities in Ukraine. The results of the first caucuses and primaries shook his position even more. In Iowa, he gained 15.8%, taking only fourth place, and in New Hampshire – 9%, fifth place.
For the former vice president, the past debate will undoubtedly also be a turning point.
Amy Klobushar’s campaign is gaining momentum. Moreover, the senator has already used the debate to attack Pete Buttidzic, by the way, very successfully.
Debate took place just a few days before the Nevada primaries. February 22, residents of this state will demonstrate how today’s debate influenced the course of the presidential election.