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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Second debate to be make or break for Kamala Harris

Harris and Biden are expected to square off again, as the former vice-president’s campaign signalled on Monday with a stinging attack on the senator’s health care plan.

world Updated: Jul 30, 2019 23:29 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US Senator Kamala Harris is going  into the second Democratic presidential debates starting Tuesday
US Senator Kamala Harris is going into the second Democratic presidential debates starting Tuesday (AP File Photo )
         

US Senator Kamala Harris is going into the second Democratic presidential debates starting Tuesday as one of the top four contenders in polls, but will have to either repeat her previous performance or do better.

Candidates will battle each other to stay in the race, with the path forward becoming narrower and harder from here.

Harris was the breakout star of the first debates in June with an epic takedown of former vice-president Joe Biden, the front-runner then and now. She got a major bump in polls, catapulting her to the top tier, but has since watched that surge dissipate, as she has struggled to lay out her agenda.

Harris and Biden are expected to square off again, as the former vice-president’s campaign signalled on Monday with a stinging attack on the senator’s health care plan. It’s a “have-it-every-which-way approach”, a senior official said, adding it’s a “lite” version of Senator Bernie Sanders’s plan.They take the stage in Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday.

Stars of the Tuesday night leg are likely to be Sanders and fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren, the other two of the top-four group. They will be centre-stage, flanked by Pete Buttigieg, a mayor in Indiana, and former congressman Beto O’Rourke, and six others. The path forward from here gets narrower and more difficult, aimed to winnow the field from the current 20. Candidates will have to collect more than 130,000 individual donors and score more than 2% in polls to qualify for the third debate, which is scheduled for mid-September in Houston, Texas.

President Donald Trump, their eventual target, will be watching, and commenting on Twitter as he did during the first debate. And he thinks he knows who will be facing him across the stage at the end of it — “Sleepy Joe”, a name he uses for Biden, who he suggested was well below his game.

First Published: Jul 30, 2019 23:19 IST

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