Arranged from left (with the best-polling candidates in the middle), the lineup for Wednesday night’s first debate is:
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
- Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
- Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
- New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
- Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
- Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Recent polling suggests that a shitload of Democrats don't know who these candidates are, much less what they stand for.
Only 22% of Democrats registered to vote say they know a lot about the candidates’ positions, while 62% say they know a little. And only 35% say they’re paying close attention to the campaign, with almost two-thirds saying they’re paying some or no attention.
“It’s kind of a blur,” said Maggie Banks, 32, of suburban Denver, who has two young children and only has a chance to glean a few details about the race while listening to National Public Radio during her commute.
Banks said she has only a “vague” idea of who’s running and didn’t realize her state’s senior senator, Michael Bennet, or former governor John Hickenlooper were in the race.
Odds are we'll get to late October 2020, and the media will find a few 'Muricans in a Walmart parking lot who, when asked, scratch themselves and look confused and say, "I'm undecided" about whether to vote for Trump or whichever Democrat gets nominated. And the rest of us will scream, or roll our eyes, or grit our teeth, or react in some way that communicates our full disgust.
Ultra-low information voters might be the bane of democracy's existence.
But here, among the allegedly well-informed in early primary season -- the 'changing room' segment of the cycle -- everyone who cares about what the Donks are doing could at least be open-minded enough to try on different candidates for a good fit. Yes or no?
I mean, if you're "vote blue no matter who", then why do you care who wins the primary?
-- Do policies matter ... or just 'defeat Trump'? Of those ten facing off tonight, Warren is most certainly demonstrating the former premise is the right path. Even if her policies originated as *ahem* someone else's.
-- Is So-and-So just too grouchy, or out of touch, or inexperienced, or old, or young, or too conservative or moderate or liberal or progressive for me? What's my 'Goldilocks zone'?
Yes, the media will pick the president if you let them. The corporate talking heads inform, but also distort with their own bias. That's why you might be better off with CSPAN whenever they are an option. (They are not, tonight and tomorrow night.) Maybe turn off the post-debate spinmeisters, and ignore the Thursday morning quarterbacking ... which, naturally, I'll be doing. (Calling the game, not passing over it, that is). With regard to social media, Twitter is a cesspool, and also invaluable for the very latest breaking news and often the most insightful analysis, as well as being wickedly sharp, brevity being the soul and all that.
CNN sucks, except when it doesn't. MSDNC is a bunch of cheerleaders except when they aren't. Fox is Fox unless you're watching Sheperd Smith. Anybody been checking FrontPageLive, former Fox reporter-turned critic Carl Cameron's new venture?
Your personal, customized filters are automatically engaged, but for Doorknob's sake be aware of your biases and try not to get stuck in your silos.