There were several themes to the Democratic debate played out in Ohio this week.
One: how to impeach and how important it is to impeach Trump.
Two: how they have to stop talking about Trump and fighting about Trump because it will only help Trump.
Three: how all of their plans are different and how warren and sanders are economically dangerous.
And four: how they have to stop fighting among each other because it only helps Trump.
The interesting thing about those themes is that they’re the same themes of the first three debates, so they are learning nothing.
Another fairly obvious thing to observe is you can quickly see why Bernie is no longer a front runner. When there was only Hillary to see, Bernie looked new, he was by himself and a bored media covering a field of one couldn’t flock to him fast enough - hence the support.
Three years later, if you want a radical, Warren is your woman. Bernie just looks like a cantankerous old grump, which is what he always was. She just says the same stuff but in a nicer way.
By half way through the debate Cory Booker, who if anyone was really paying any attention might like to look at voting for him, was literally pleading with them all to shut up on Trump and shut up bagging each other - to which the audience burst into relatively rare applause.
You can dismiss a few of them: Yang is weird, Klobuchar looks unsure of herself, Gabbard and Stayer look out of their depth.
Mayor Pete says a lot of sensible middle of the road stuff, in many respects he’s the Marco Rubio of the Democrats: young, highly appealing, very articulate, but just getting no cut through.
Beto O’Rourke doesn’t look remotely like a player and increasingly seems to have been found out and was only ever there because for some reason he managed to spook Ted Cruz in the Texas vote.
Kamala Harris is as normal as any, probably experienced enough to have a genuine crack.
But here’s the biggest issue for the Dems: polls seem to be telling us they think the only way to counter the extremism of Trump is to come at him with their own version of extremism – ie, Warren.
Half the stage is aghast at Warren and her thinking on tax and welfare and her refusal to say just how she'll pay for it all. If they pick Warren, Trump is home without even getting out of bed.
Biden is still a contender because he’s Biden. because if you’d never heard of him and he hadn’t hung with the Obamas. he’d be toast. He looks slow and old, and that’s before you get to the damage around is family.
So if I was a voter and yesterday was my decision day, Harris, Mayor Pete, or Booker all look and sound half decent and moderately capable. But short of a miracle, they are getting nowhere near the nomination, and those who are will, at this stage anyway, be getting nowhere near the presidency.