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This Week's Debate: Small and White

No candidates of color make the cut in Iowa
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2020 8:38 AM CST
Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders participate in the December debate in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(Newser) – The lineup for Tuesday's Democratic debate in Iowa is set, and this time it's a manageable list: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren. Notice anything different from the previous debates? As NPR points out, this lineup lacks even one person of color. The last debate included Andrew Yang, but he failed to make the cut this time. As such, this is the "smallest, whitest" debate yet, per Politico. Warren, for one, is making an issue of it. “We started out with such an importantly diverse field, a field that had lots of different voices, lots of different perspectives," she said last week, after the lineup was official.

"For me the particularly hard day was the day that (Sen.) Kamala Harris ... was dropping out of the race because of money and that same day a billionaire bought his way onto the debate stage," she said, taking a jab at Steyer. Yang and another nonwhite candidate, Cory Booker, have been pushing for changes in how the party determines who qualifies for the debates, which involves a combination of polling and fundraising metrics. Tuesday's will be the seventh of 12 such contests. After Tuesday, the next one will be Feb. 7 in New Hampshire. (Warren is calling out Sanders' tactics.)

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