“I don’t think most Americans are comfortable with some of what they heard last debate,” Buckhorn said. “And I think it’s unfortunate.”

Buckhorn’s view is a common one among moderate Democrats. In interviews, many of them expressed deep concern that this week’s debate in Detroit will feature another inevitable shift to the left, one that will alienate swing voters in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin…

“I hope that in the next debate there’s more of a discussion about education and public safety and issues of the economy and those other issues that a lot of moderates are looking for,” said former Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska.

Even more alarming, they said, was the speed at which some once-fringe issues were widely adopted by the presidential field, like decriminalizing border crossings.