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In Defense of Higher Debate Qualifications For Dem. Candidates

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    The DNC was adamant that the 2020 primary election cycle would be different and they have certainly stayed true to their word. That is a positive development if you are someone who disagreed with how they handled the 2016 primary season, but it's the death knell for a number of lower-polling candidates who relied on the debates to reach a national audience.

    I can see how the lower polling candidates feel they got the short end of the stick in not being invited to participate in debates anymore, especially before a single vote has been cast, but I have to admit that I'm perfectly fine with the direction the DNC is going in when it comes to the debates. The larger than normal field of Democratic contenders has made it difficult for certain candidates to have a breakthrough moment, but that doesn't mean there should continue to be a dozen or more candidates sharing a stage for a two or three hour debate. That makes it impossible to have a genuine debate because there's simply too many people vying to be heard.

    Those who lament the fact that the debate stage now lacks diversity have a valid point and you will get no push back from me arguing otherwise. It is a shame that what was once the most diverse field in history is now a monolithic one, at least when it comes to skin color. However, I don't know how to remedy that without diluting the quality of the debate. Having such a large field is a double-edged sword because it makes it that much harder to have your voice heard.

    So the DNC is left with no choice but to have concrete rules and stick to them. The only wild card is what they will do if Michael Bloomberg has a solid showing in Iowa and/or New Hampshire. He is not accepting private donations, so by definition he is automatically disqualified from participating in the Democratic debates. But if he has a solid showing in any of the early states then the DNC will likely be left with no choice but to allow him to participate in future debates.

    What do you think? Do you agree with me that the DNC has no other choice than to take this route, especially after what happened in 2016? Or are they making a mistake by shutting out such a large number of candidates from the debates before a single vote has been cast?

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    The only real mistake I think the DNC is making is their rule where candidates cannot debate other candidates on any other platform other than the official DNC debates they organize. That seems unfair and why I get why they made that rule, its not really smart either.

    If they allowed candidates to do what they want, all the responsibility for the debates wouldn't be solely on the DNC and more 'viral' candidates can garner more attention by other means as opposed to just one route - raising money and official polling.

    The only harm in allowing candidates to debate outside sanctioned DNC run debates is they won't be able to control the narrative or the field as much. And I'm sure that makes them super uncomfortable. But I would much rather see a YouTube video of Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard or whatever debating on a platform still potentially millions of people would watch than only get to see these canned televised debates where you always walk away feeling like they never really went anywhere.

    They are holding candidates back from taking advantage of social media and the internet is basically what I'm saying. We can now do livestream and share 3 hour debate videos in about a second.