And then there were two.
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are set to meet Sunday night in their first one-to-one presidential primary debate after months of Democratic free-for-alls that presaged a dramatic culling of the field since the opening round of the 2020 race.
Some key questions to look for about the debate, which takes place before the next round of primaries on Tuesday, when 577 delegates are at stake in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
A NEW OPENING, BUT FOR WHICH CANDIDATE?
The coronavirus outbreak has overturned American life, but it is unclear whether the unfolding crisis changes a race that Biden controls with more than half the delegates already awarded.
Both candidates have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a hook to try to justify their main themes, and can be expected to do so again Sunday.
Sanders has been saying that the pandemic demonstrates the need for his “Medicare for All” universal health insurance plan, along with other expansion of a social safety net. He said the shortage of medical goods, from masks and rubber gloves to diagnostic testing kits, is a consequence of decades of establishment trade policy that sent U.S. manufacturing prowess overseas. (Biden, Sanders has noted repeatedly, voted for some of those international trade deals as a Delaware senator.)
To Biden, it’s a moment to make the case against U.S. President Donald Trump’s competence. The former vice-president has run against Trump from the beginning, so much so that it cost him embarrassing finishes in early-voting Iowa and New Hampshire. But Biden has rebounded in recent weeks.
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