The first Democratic debate of the 2020 election season is in the books. In all, ten candidates took stage last night and ten others will tangle tonight. The broad strokes? By some accounts, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren made the most of her center stage position (which she got based on a complex system of polling and fundraising). Here’s a rundown of the rest:
The Economy: Warren got the first question of the night – the state of the American economy. Warren said the U.S. is doing great for those "at the top" but not so great for average Americans. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar [[KLO-buh-shar]] argued that community college should be free. Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker agreed that the economy needs to work for everyone.
Healthcare: Of all the candidates, only New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Warren raised their hands when asked if they would advocate abandoning private healthcare for a government-run system. Warren said healthcare is a basic human right worth fighting for. O'Rourke said Democrats must focus on providing quality, affordable healthcare. de Blasio argued that private insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans.
Iran: The subject of Iran drew some strong opinions. Klobuchar accused President Trump of making the U.S. less safe than it was before he took office. She said Trump is "one tweet away from going to war" with Iran. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said Trump and his "chicken hawk" advisers have the U.S. on the brink of war with Iran. She said there are better ways to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
Immigration: All the candidates were united when it came to slamming the Trump administration's immigration policies. Former Housing Secretary Julian [[HOO-lee-on]] Castro said pictures of a dead migrant father and daughter should "piss us all off." In case you missed it, the pair drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande after seeking asylum. Senator Booker said the Trump immigration policies are promoting fear in communities across the U.S., not just along the Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said there is no reason for the separation of migrant children from their families. Many of the candidates spoke in Spanish during this topic.
So who “won?” That depends whom you ask. Some have credited Senator Warren with “taking the crown” – and she’s been the most-tweeted about of the bunch. Did it relate to speaking time? Maybe, maybe not – the men on the stage averaged 7.8-minutes each, while female candidates spoke for 8.1-minutes each. But in the United States, it was Congresswoman Gabbard and Senator Booker, who got the most Google search traffic. They were followed by O’Rourke, Senator Warren and Mayor de Blasio.
Round two rolls forward tonight at 9pm ET on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. At the podiums? Former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, author Marianne Williamson, Governor John Hickenlooper, businessman Andrew Yang, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Kamala Harris, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, and CA Rep. Eric Swalwell.
Source: NBC News