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Third Democratic Debate: What BPC Experts Are Watching For

Washington, D.C. – As the field continues to narrow, and the stakes get higher, experts from BPC’s Energy, Infrastructure, and Higher Education Projects have prepared a pre-debate brief highlighting the key policy issues they hope the Democratic presidential candidates will discuss as they take the stage for the third time in Houston.

“I will be watching the discussion on energy and climate policy closely,” said Sasha Mackler, director of BPC’s Energy Project. “Posing questions that reveal the candidates’ political strategies on energy and climate would be significantly more informative to voters than comparing the trillions of dollars of imaginary funding between different plans or highlighting which candidate will be first to ban the internal combustion engine.”

BPC’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Michele Nellenbach will be paying close attention to how the candidates plan to protect communities at risk from extreme weather events like hurricanes, droughts, flooding, and wildfires. “Candidates should discuss how they would shift the national discussion to one of adaption and resilient building as the primary means of reducing the loss of life, property, and income post-disaster,” Nellenbach said.

With higher education shaping up to be a major topic on the campaign trail, Kenneth Megan, associate director of BPC’s Higher Education Project, is interested in knowing how the candidates plan to address the challenges faced by low-income students. “As candidates continue to advocate for student loan relief and free college proposals, thought must be put into how new federal spending can be targeted towards low-income students, otherwise, they risk creating new entitlement for the wealthy,” Megan said.

For BPC’s previous pre-debate coverage, read the blog posts from before the first and second round of debates.

BPC’s experts are available for pre- and post-debate analysis.