As the spread of candidates hoping to beat President Trump meet in the first Democratic debate Wednesday, many Democratic elected officials to anticipate a bickering party.
Holly Otterbein at Politico reported Tuesday that “nearly 20 Democratic elected officials, party chiefs, labor leaders and operatives” the past week have displayed “an air of foreboding verging on the alarm that the debates will degenerate into a two-night, bare-knuckle brawl.”
Part of the reason Democrats believe this will be the case is that the opponents of former Vice President Joe Biden have been increasingly eager to oppose him and moderate candidates have frequently attacked their progressive opponents.
Several Democrats said they're fine with the candidates debating policy as long as it does not dissolve into personal attacks as it did in 2016 between Sanders and Clinton.
“The 2016 campaign still weighs on many Democrats anxious about a slugfest in 2020,” Otterbein wrote. “They’re apprehensive of a primary that leaves its nominee too damaged and its party too divided — and fear this week’s debates could kick off that kind of race.”
These Democrats’ fears are realistic, for as long as the debates are still covered by the media who likes to exaggerate and encourage such divisions, the debates will most likely reflect those of 2016.