Democratic presidential candidates should hope that their debates this week — one was Tuesday night and the other Wednesday night — significantly reduce the oversized group that is seeking the nomination.

Ten candidates were on stage each night, which limits the amount of time they actually got to spend debating each other. The overcrowding tends to produce a couple of interesting moments, such as Sen. Kamala Harris’ successful ambush of Joe Biden for his opposition to busing 40 years ago. But in terms of substance, there are simply too many people in the conversation for much of it to resonate.

It’s time to start narrowing down the Democratic field — even though it’s more than 15 months to election day. Reducing the number of candidates to the 12-15 range would be a start.

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