Thursday, June 27, 2019

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: The TV Debates: Who Is Winning?

I have stressed the importance of the Democratic TV presidential
debates as a key opening of the 2020 election cycle, but now that they
have begun, I urge my readers to be cautious about the myriad of
interpretations (which have also already begun) about who wins or
loses them.

There are two main institutional forces which are competing for our
interpretive allegiance. First, there is the establishment media,
heavily biased toward the Democratic Party and relentlessly
anti-Trump. This media has trumpeted every radical move by the
so-called “progressive” wing of the party, and will continue to do so
in interpreting the debates, usually giving high marks to those
who espouse the leftward lurch. Second, there is the public relations
arm of each campaign which, no sooner has a debate concluded, are
touting their candidate as having having won. This is their job, but
few take them seriously.

A third institutional force which must be regarded with caution are
the polls --- the instant polls especially --- which history teaches us
are often misleading..

The non-establishment media, particularly the conservative and
pro-Trump media, need also be read or listened to with caution.
They have their bias, and are not likely to offer a fully fair analysis
of the Democratic debates, the liberal candidates, and their issues.

When round one is concluded in Miami, the debates will move to
Detroit for a second go-around. Then, new qualifications will
determine who appears in the next rounds of debates before the
primaries and caucuses begin in early February.

Winners and losers will emerge in time. I have suggested that the
majority of Democratic voters, while clearly liberal and anti-Trump,
have serious misgivings about some of the most radical ideas that
have been put forward by some candidates. My hypothesis will now
be tested in the true reactions to the debates and the candidates.
I always come back to the voters, those who actually show up and
vote --- they are the true test.

Not only Democrats are watching these debates. Republicans are, too,
and so are a great many undecideds, independents, centrists, and even
those in both parties who are not altogether happy with their choices.

The key to the TV debates is where they take the Democratic Party
in its epic second confrontation with President Trump.

Copyright (c) 2019 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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