In any election, debates can bring candidates to superb heights or bring them to tremendous lows. A nationally televised debate can completely end a candidate’s race if he or she is not prepared. Debates offer voters an opportunity to see how knowledgeable candidates truly are about the issues they speak so passionately about in their scripted speeches. In a debate, the questions are on the spot and the candidates must answer right away.
One of the major surprises in the Sept. 12 debate was the lack of questions about the environment. A major point for younger Democratic voters, the issue was only brought up two times. One potential cause for the lack of questions was the Town Hall on climate change a few days earlier broadcasted by CNN. This feature presentation was similar to a debate but only had rebuttals and arguments relating to climate change and the state of the environment.
Another trend found in the debate was that many of the questions asked to the candidates were focused on the economy. This is no surprise due to the volatility of the US markets over the past three months. With many investors speculating about a coming recession, many voters want to know how the candidates will attempt to resolve the economic troubles and bring stability and growth to the market.
In contrast, very few questions regarding the state of foreign affairs were asked. This is most likely due to the instability with the current state of foreign affairs. Every other day new information comes out regarding the trade war with China, denuclearization in North Korea, and terrorism in the Middle East. The issues are too complex and ever changing to ask a question that will be relevant by the time of the primary election.
Another surprise was the volume of questions asked to political “newcomer” Andrew Yang. Similar to Donald Trump, Yang comes from the business world and has radical new ideas on how to tackle contemporary issues. Many voters want to find where he stands on different issues of value to them.
The second Democratic Debate held many surprises and seems to have informed voters on where many of the candidates stand on specific issues and how they plan to resolve them.
— Wyatt Hulsey