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October 2019 Debate

Updated on November 17, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Returns After Missing September Debate

By Alohagirl198667 - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25857344
By Alohagirl198667 - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25857344

October 2019 Democratic Debate - Updated October 15, 2019

There are twelve candidates who have qualified for the 4th debate, scheduled for October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio (north of Columbus). The debate will be held on one night rather than splitting the debate into groups of six over two nights. No rationale has been provided so far to support this decision, which this writer finds lacks any substantive logic. Would not groups of six allow a much more sensible and coherent dialogue rather than what we can expect to see in a group of 12. That is like a a family Thanksgiving dinner when everyone is asking for the cranberry sauce at the same time.

In addition to the added difficulty of having a conversation with 12 people, we can effect a significant downside for the lower ranked candidates. The first three debates all showed the same effect. The most speaking time was taken by the top tier candidates, who will be positioned right in the middle.

Center left is Biden and center right is Warren. Clearly this affirms their positions as the top two candidates. Then next to Biden and Warren respectively, we have Sanders and Buttigieg, exactly as this author has the candidates ranked. Next to Sanders and Buttigieg respectively, we will see Harris and Yang, again exactly as this author has projected their relative nomination probabilities. Next to Harris and Yang, the candidates will be Booker and O'Rourke. Booker at #7 is consistent with where this author has him placed. After Booker however, the statistical differences between the candidates is slight. O'Rourke was given the nod across from Booker which is a favorable break for him. At least he is not further outside. Then we have Steyer on the left and Klobuchar on the right - these candidates are only one position inside the ends. For Steyer, given that this is his first debate, that is actually a fortunate position. Klobuchar cannot be happy at what amounts to the 10th position, even though that is better than where I have her ranked at #11 going into the debate. Then on the outside, Gabbard to the left is a really poor draw and Castro far right is spot on. In sum, O'Rourke, Steyer and Klobuchar drew positions better than they stand, and Gabbard was given a slot substantially below her standing.

With Sanders recent heath incident combined with Trump's incessant attacks on Biden and their being 12 candidates on stage, this could be the proverbial field day. This author is expecting very little new other than perhaps (a) seeing how much "umph" Sanders has and (b) whether Gabbard and Steyer affect the conversation.

Will this debate make much of a difference? Not unless there is a very significant moment which does in one of the leading candidates. This debate really sets up the November debate which will likely have fewer people on stage. Right now, only the top five (Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg and Harris) plus Yang, Booker and Steyer have qualified for the November debate. The balance of candidates (O'Rourke, Gabbard, Klobuchar and Castro) need better poll numbers or individual donors or both. This author will create a November debate page after the October debate has been worked over a few times to see if anything really happened.

Please see this author's national analysis here.

October Debate Analysis - Updated November 17, 2019

Candidate
Pre-Debate Rank
Post-Debate Rank
Pre-Debate Polling Momentum
Post-Debate Polling Momentum
Warren
1
2
-3.5%
-2.0%
Biden
2
1
+7.0%
-5.0%
Sanders
3
3
-1.5%
+2.0%
Buttigieg
4
4
+0.5%
+2.0%
Harris
5
6
0.0%
0.0%
Yang
6
5
-1.0%
0.0%
Booker
7
8
+0.5%
0.0%
Gabbard
8
9
0.0%
-1.0%
O'Rourke (WD)
9
WD
+1.0%
WD
Klobuchar
10
7
0.0%
0.0%
Steyer
11
10
+1.0%
0.0%
Castro (NQ)
12
11
0.0%
+1.0%
Rankings based on polling data collected through November 14 and non-polling data updated on November 17. NQ = not qualified for November debate. WD = Withdrew from race.

October Post-Debate Analysis - Updated November 17, 2019

Since the October debate, Biden and Warren have swapped positions. Sanders and Buttigieg remain 3rd and 4th. Harris and Yang have swapped positions. Klobuchar has moved up three positions pre-debate to post-debate and is now 7th, and both Booker and Gabbard have dropped a position to 8th and 9th places, respectively.

Gabbard has now qualified for the November debate. In 11th is Castro who has not qualified for the November debate.

Overall, shift in polling momentum from pre-debate to post-debate is least positive for Biden. Biden's momentum coming into the October debate could not be sustained. Best momentum as of this update is shared by Sanders and Buttigieg at +2.0%.


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