2020 Elections

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris has released a health care plan just in time for the second Democratic debate, offering a role for private insurance in a "Medicare for All" system and outlining new taxes to pay for it.

The plan comes after months of questions about whether she supports scrapping private insurance — and as former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be gearing up to attack her at the upcoming debate on her support for Medicare for All.

Before the first presidential debate last month, former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign signaled that he expected to be attacked by the candidates trailing him in the polls but that Biden would essentially ignore all incoming fire.

It was a classic front-runner approach. And it was punctured, hard and fast, by California Sen. Kamala Harris' attack on Biden's past opposition to federal busing policies.

Updated July 30

This week's debate could be the last onstage appearance for more than half of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

With more stringent qualification rules from the Democratic National Committee set to severely limit who will make the debate stage in September, lower-tier candidates are now facing a do-or-die moment this Tuesday and Wednesday in Detroit.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential candidates are proposing lots of progressive policies in this election. And while those policies may resonate with the party base, some of those ideas are not popular with a general election electorate, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

The headlines about presidential candidate Joe Biden's new health care plan called it "a nod to the past" and "Affordable Care Act 2.0." That mostly refers to the fact that the former vice president has specifically repudiated many of his Democratic rivals' calls for a "Medicare for All" system, and instead sought to build his plan on the ACA's framework.

The lineup is now set for the second series of Democratic presidential primary debates, at the end of the month.

On the first night, progressive favorites Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be on stage together for the first time, while upstart South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be trying to continue his improbable rise.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock entered the Democratic primary in May, months after many of his competitors. He has an excuse.

Justin Krebs, a campaign director with MoveOn, isn't interested in hearing pundits debate which 2020 Democratic candidate is the most "electable."

"Because exactly four years ago right now there was a messy, crowded primary, with too many candidates, people who were totally unelectable, and Donald Trump was one of them and ended up winning," he pointed out.

And in the same vein, many Democrats thought Barack Obama was unelectable until he started winning primaries in 2008.

Progressive activists feel like this is their moment.

Their values are no longer seen as fringe ideas in the Democratic Party. Multiple presidential candidates are talking about "Medicare-for-all," reparations for slavery and bold action on climate change. And their ideas are driving the action on debate stages.

Now, as they gather in Philadelphia for the largest progressive convention of the year, Netroots Nation, they feel empowered as if this is their time to take over the party, push traditional Democrats aside and hold candidates accountable.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a really big boost to his campaign recently, announcing a staggering $24.8 million fundraising haul over the past three months.

But that hasn't changed one of the toughest realities his candidacy faces: support among black voters that barely registers in the polls.

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