Looking ahead to next week’s second debate among Democratic candidates for president

By Dave Andrusko

You might ask yourself (as I did before I began this post), what difference does it make, why should we bother to watch, when every one of the 20 Democrats who will be on the stage July 30 and July 31 in Detroit are hard-core pro-abortion? There are many excellent reasons to tune in CNN. Here are a few.

1. On abortion…it’ll be fascinating to see what tact CNN’s moderators Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper take. On the one hand, they will want the candidates to reiterate their limitless support for abortion and attack pro-life President Trump. On the other hand, at some level, they must know that the public is miles away from the position taken by these Democrats. So their questions will be carefully crafted to make their extremism seem unobjectionable.

2. Despite the brouhaha and gnashing of teeth over Joe Biden’s abysmal performance in the first debate in Miami, he has reassumed his role as front-runner. According to the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult survey, Biden is ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders by 15 points (33% to18%) with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (14%) and Kamala Harris (13%) running third and fourth among Democratic primary voters.

One question will be whether Harris can build on her performance, which was built on a thrashing of Biden, or (given the blowback in some circles) will she ease up? Another will be who among the remaining 16 candidates might experience a breakthrough moment, out of obscurity and into the light of media attention?

3. Bearing in mind (a) those two factors, (b) the reality that the next debate takes place September 12 and 13, and (c) that “The Democratic National Committee has doubled its fundraising and polling requirements for the September and October debates, and candidates such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are trying to meet those so they can get on the stage,” to quote the Washington Post, there is tremendous pressure on the also-runs to “one-up” the field.

How can you be more extreme on abortion than the field already is? Well, you can again bash Biden (as Harris did in Miami) for failing to have a 100% pro-abortion record during his years in the Senate, hoping that by bringing the leader of the pack down, some of his support will come your way. And one of the lesser minions could prepackage attacks on President Trump (as Harris clearly did in her frontal assault on a bewildered Biden) in a way that you hope certifies that nobody will take on the incumbent as well as you could.

It’ll be interesting, in the final analysis, because one of these pro-abortion militants will head his or her party’s presidential ticket come 2020 with all that means for nominations to the Supreme Court and for having a president who would push for and then sign pro-life legislation.

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