While it may have seemed based on recent accounts that Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley was a lone voice railing against the Democratic establishment’s presidential debate schedule, the perception is far from accurate, reports New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
Democratic party members have been adding their voices to O’Malley’s in calling for DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to add debates and front-end them so that more can play out before the state primary contests take place.
Critics of the schedule, which currently allows for only six DNC-sanctioned debates, say the sparsity of debates not only unfairly favors established names like Hillary Clinton, but will be damaging for the general election. Haberman:
The party fears a lower number will of debates will diminish its ability to drive the discussion as the Republican contest, led by Donald J. Trump, dominates the news, and that a flabby process will leave the ultimate nominee unprepared for the general election.
Among the voices seeking a fuller debate schedule is a group of activists that coalesced online back in April under #AllowDebate, led by Ben Doernberg. A petition available on the group’s Website asking the DNC to add more debates to the schedule currently has 29,574 signatures.