WASHINGTON — Electability questions persist. Anxieties about gender and sexism are resurgent. And three leading candidates are about to get yanked off the campaign trail for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Those deep uncertainties shadowed Tuesday’s Democratic debate, the last national stage for candidates running out of time to generate momentum ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. Months of campaigning and millions of dollars in advertising have left Democrats with a crowded top tier, and it’s unclear if the debate helped any of the candidates break out of that pack.
The six Democrats on stage — the smallest debate field yet — strained to keep the two-hour face-off civil and substantive. They drew policy contrasts with each other on national security, health care and trade, but repeatedly shifted the focus back to their common opponent: Trump.