The Columbus, Ohio debate among 12 Democratic Presidential candidates will likely start the winnowing of the field, which is much too large.
As things stand now, Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg seem like the candidates that are gaining.
Warren is taking support away from Bernie Sanders, who is recovering from a heart attack, and will be watched closely on Tuesday for signs of weariness. Sanders knows Warren is a problem for him, and has pointed out that she is a believer in capitalism, and is not a Socialist, which actually helps Warren’s image.
Mayor Pete is likely the major moderate Democratic alternative to Joe Biden, who has to deal with the issue of his son, Hunter Biden, and Ukranian connections, although it seems clear there is no corruption involved, at least as far as we know at this point. Also, Joe Biden is coming across, sadly, as not quite up to par mentally at times, a very worrisome situation for him. Meanwhile, Mayor Pete continues to make a great impression, including in the CNN gay-lesbian-transgender debate this past Thursday, and has gained a lot of financial support.
Whether Kamala Harris can recuperate from a decline in support is debatable. Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro have also failed to take off in recent months, and have made some errors that harm them.
While Cory Booker gained enough financial backing to stay in the race, it still seems unlikely that he is going to be a serious candidate for the Presidential nomination.
Andrew Yang has had unexpected good fortune, but still it seems a real long shot that he can get anywhere gaining enough support to move forward.
Amy Klobuchar so far has not made much of a dent, and Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer, in their first debate, do not seem likely to make any real move toward serious contention.
So Tuesday’s debate will likely narrow the field as we move closer to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary four months from now.