Spiritual guru and author Marianne Williamson placed a comfortable first in Breitbart News’ instant straw poll for the second 2020 Democrat presidential debate in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday evening.
Williamson received 58.7% of the vote, leaving second-place finisher former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) in the dust with 14.04%. Pro-union Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) came in third place with 4.38%, while John Hickenlooper, the moderate former governor of Colorado, placed fourth with 4.25%. Sen.
Williamson stole the show with several breakout moments.
Some of the loudest applause came when Williamson became the first of the 10 candidates on stage to evoke racism at length, calling it “part of the dark underbelly of American society.”
“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days,” Williamson said, adding that if the party doesn’t “start saying it, then why would those people feel that ‘they’re there for us,’ and I feel like they won’t vote for us, and Donald Trump will win.”
That debate moment began a pattern of sorts, as Williamson continued to chide the other candidates for putting detailed policy over more ambitious pledges to cure the country’s larger ills.
“I almost wonder why some of you are Democrats,” she said later. “You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people.”
In another moment, the spiritual guru said it is no surprise Americans think politicians are all “yada, yada, yada,” for taking contributions from corporations.
She also drew applause for her remarks on slavery reparations, describing it as a “debt that is owed” to African-Americans.
“If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule [promise to formerly enslaved farmers] … today it would be trillions of dollars,” Williamson said. “Anything less than $100 billion is an insult, and I think that $200 to 500 billion is politically feasible today.”
“We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with,” she added
Williamson is still the longest of longshots to capture her party’s nomination, and remains more famous for selling wacky online merchandise than for anything she hopes to accomplish if elected president.
In her closing statement, Williamson again dismissed the night’s political insider rhetoric and intellectual discussions, proclaiming that it was instead time for “radical truth telling.” But then she returned to the kind of long declaration that has become her trademark.
“I want a politics that goes much deeper,” Williamson said, continuing that the only way to combat Trump is with “new voices of energy” that only come when the nation makes “amends for our own mistakes, love each other, love our democracy, love future generations. Something emotional and psychological that will not be, be, be emerging from anything on this stage. It will emerge from something I’m the one who’s qualified to bring forth.”
In addition to Breitbart News’ poll, Williamson topped the Drudge Report’s instant survey, garnering nearly 48 percent of the vote. Delaney placed second with 11 percent and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) placed third and fourth respectively.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.