Presidential Debates, Presidential Elections

The First 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate—The Dark Horse of the Night was John Delaney.

M. Scott Mahaskey for Politico Magazine

The dark horse of the night was John Delaney.
Michelle Bernard is a political analyst, lawyer, author and president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy.

First, the dark horse of the night is the candidate many voters had probably never heard of before the June 26 debate: John Delaney. The odds are anyone’s guess, but Delaney could prove to be the younger, gaffe-free, liberal, work-yourself-up-from-the-bootstraps, white, male, working-class alternative to Joe Biden. His answer on the question of keeping private health insurance—essentially, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it—was met with surprising applause and is sure to resonate with working-class voters. The other two clear winners of the night were Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.

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