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Democratic showdown in Detroit

Tuesday and Wednesday debate's could reshape the 2020 field of candidates.

Posted: Jul 30, 2019 3:48 PM

DETROIT (AP) — Democrats gathering in Detroit for a pivotal presidential debate will have to decide, once again, how to respond to President Donald Trump while presenting their own vision for the country.

Candidates are sure to use the high-profile setting on Tuesday and Wednesday to blast Trump's recent string of racist and incendiary tweets and comments, first about four congresswomen and more recently about Baltimore, a racially diverse U.S. city that, like Detroit, has faced challenges. But they'll also be under pressure to provide specifics about how they would improve the lives of Americans by lowering the cost of health care or protecting jobs at a time when the economy is showing signs of sputtering.

The second debate of the Democratic primary has higher stakes for a historically large field of more than 20 candidates, 10 of whom will face off each night. For several candidates, the debates will likely offer a last chance to be considered a serious contender for the party's nomination. Tougher rules set by the Democratic National Committee are expected to winnow the race. To qualify for the next debates in September, candidates must raise money from more donors and hit higher polling thresholds — a bar more than half of the candidates are at risk of missing.

"Everything's at stake," said Jill Alper, a Democratic strategist who has worked on seven presidential campaigns. She had simple and direct advice for the White House hopefuls confronting questions about Trump: "protest and pivot" — and "pivot quickly" — to what they can offer American families.

The two leading progressives in the field, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, will be at center stage on Tuesday. Warren's campaign has gained ground in recent weeks, partially at the expense of Sanders. The debate could offer a high-profile chance for Warren to prove to Sanders' supporters that she's worthy of their consideration.

Warren unveiled a slate of new congressional endorsements on Tuesday morning ahead of the debate, including one lawmaker who had backed Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary.

The night will also provide a contrast with more moderate candidates, such as South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, poised to offer themselves as alternatives to the liberals.

Also on stage will be former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has repeatedly said Sanders' brand of democratic socialism is bad for the party and the country, as well as Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, author Marianne Williamson and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who joined the race after the other candidates and did not qualify for last month's debate in Miami.

Wednesday will provide a rematch between former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, who went after Biden during the June debate for not supporting federal busing orders as a means of desegregation when he was in the U.S. Senate in the 1970s, prefacing her comments by saying, "I do not believe you are a racist."

Biden defended his record but appeared caught off guard by the exchange, a shaky response that could give voters pause about his ability to go toe-to-toe with Trump on a debate stage or otherwise in a general election, said Michigan-based pollster Bernie Porn.

"Biden needs to do better," he said.

Several candidates have been putting out policy proposals ahead of the debate, likely as a way to get out in front of rivals' criticism.

Harris, who says she supports Sanders' plan for "Medicare for All," released a proposal Monday that stopped short of the proposal he and other more liberal candidates are backing. She said she envisions a role for private insurers —Sanders' plan does not — and she would slow the transition to 10 years rather than four.

While Sanders won't be on stage with Harris, other advocates of the plan will be, and could take her to task for not going far enough. Biden's campaign, meanwhile, attacked from another direction, saying that she has been inconsistent and that her plan would undo the Affordable Care Act approved under President Barack Obama and force a large tax increase on middle-class families.

Warren on Monday rolled out a trade policy that would propose nine preconditions for U.S. trading partners to meet to participate in agreements, including an end to fossil-fuel subsidies. She did not rule out tariffs, echoing some of the rhetoric Trump used in 2016 as he wooed working-class voters in places like Michigan.

Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons said the intramural fight among Democrats is necessary to get a battle-tested nominee who is ready to face Trump on all topics, including race. But he said it is important for Democrats not to let the president off the hook for his racial rhetoric and policies, noting, "The Trump factor is always present." He said Trump's latest comments blasting Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and his Baltimore-area district underscore voters' unease with Trump in the White House.

"People argue over whether we are beating up the ultimate nominee, but if we don't, Trump will," Simmons said. "People are testing each other. How you stand up under pressure is part of what the judgment is of who's the best candidate."

The Trump campaign and Michigan Republicans also were readying for the 2020 election, meeting in Lansing for what they said was part of a nationwide effort to train thousands of volunteers. Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox said they were starting earlier than in past election cycles.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604184

Reported Deaths: 7620
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1248631774
Ramsey52480895
Dakota46804470
Anoka42746458
Washington27416291
Stearns22552224
St. Louis18137312
Scott17548135
Wright16370149
Olmsted13391102
Sherburne1201295
Carver1066448
Clay825892
Rice8196110
Blue Earth762543
Crow Wing681594
Kandiyohi667885
Chisago619752
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475381
Mower470733
Winona461251
Itasca459263
Isanti439964
McLeod430361
Morrison424662
Nobles407950
Beltrami407561
Steele397616
Polk389072
Becker386655
Lyon363853
Carlton352756
Freeborn346932
Pine335023
Nicollet331045
Mille Lacs311654
Brown307840
Le Sueur297226
Cass286032
Todd285632
Meeker263142
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211021
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196441
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176338
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena162823
Fillmore157410
Faribault154419
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138837
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11296
Murray107010
Swift106918
Koochiching95217
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Wilkin83213
Lake83120
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5938
Lincoln5843
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 370914

Reported Deaths: 6048
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58232640
Linn21204339
Scott20306247
Black Hawk16119312
Woodbury15238230
Johnson1461585
Dubuque13506211
Dallas1128999
Pottawattamie11223174
Story1071448
Warren583991
Clinton561493
Cerro Gordo553593
Sioux517074
Webster515494
Muscatine4880106
Marshall486676
Des Moines467271
Wapello4337122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth402981
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288261
Carroll286852
Crawford268540
Boone268434
Benton259655
Washington256751
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232351
Jackson225242
Clay216627
Kossuth216166
Tama211871
Delaware210943
Winneshiek198535
Page194522
Buchanan193733
Cedar192223
Hardin187444
Fayette186543
Wright185940
Hamilton181851
Harrison179973
Clayton171057
Butler166235
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163342
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152652
Hancock150234
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133435
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union129935
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124717
Franklin123323
Guthrie123232
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113523
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96532
Monroe96330
Unassigned9560
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7598
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Van Buren56418
Ringgold56324
Wayne54423
Audubon53411
Adams3444
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