The 2020 US presidential election has definitely been unlike any other before. This time around, there are several unheard of candidates debating each other for the party’s nomination – with a host of other candidates all vying for the chance to represent the Democratic Party in the general election. One of the most interesting aspects of this election cycle is the debates among the primary candidates; this time around, we’ve seen a series of debates that have not featured any of the more traditionally popular candidates. This lack of well-known candidates from the primary debates shows an interesting shift in the political landscape and has made it easier for more unexpected candidates to get their message out. The debate format has served as the perfect stage for these lesser-known contenders to make their case to the voters. The debates have been a great platform for the candidates to showcase their ideas and positions, and to show that they could still appeal to a wide swath of voters, even if they haven’t received the traditional spotlight during the primary season. For instance, two of the lesser-known Democratic candidates have become household names during the debates: Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson. Yang is the tech entrepreneur who has become well-known for his ‘universal basic income’ proposal. Williamson is a self-help and spiritual leader with a large platform focusing on holistic health. As we look toward the future of the primary debates, it is important to keep in mind that the candidates who may not be necessarily the most popular – or the ‘front runner’ – could still make a powerful impact in the primary race and even hold their own against the more popular contenders. The primary debates this year have proven that well. The debates have served as crucial reminders that the American people can still become engaged in the political discourse, even when the traditional figures of power aren’t in the mix. These unconventional debates have given the opportunity to many lesser-known candidates to give their message and get the attention of the masses. The unprecedented primary debates of the 2020 US presidential election put forward the point that even the less popular candidates can still make a difference in the national discourse if given a chance. This has been a great illustration of our political future: one in which the power of the people will trump traditional institutional influence.