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Winners and losers in the democratic debate according to Chris Cillizza


Since only six candidates qualified for the next debate in December, this was the last chance for some of them to convince voters that they deserved to remain in the race.

I looked and made notes about the best and worst nights.

Below, my winners and losers.

Amy Klobuchar: The Minnesota senator was desperate for time for the first four debates – and she could just find one Wednesday night. Klobuchar was one of the few people on the stage who took up the mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg (more on this below), and her opinion about a woman – still – not elected president, was strong: "If you think a woman can't beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every day, "she said. Klobuchar's biggest issue is that the pragmatic center line was dominated by Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden. Her performance on Wednesday evening can change that.

Andrew Yang: Sure, Yang didn't get a chance to say a word in the first 30 minutes of the debate. (Something out of the ordinary, given his race bow is pointing straight up.) But when Yang had the opportunity to speak, he came across by far the most suitable candidate on stage. Yang's question when he was asked what he would say to Vladimir Putin after he was elected president (he went crazy about "I'm sorry I beat your guy") landed well. Yang's candidacy still seems to be too far from where people are – he's not mistaken that the data is new oil, and his universal basic income proposition has a strong defense – to be a top-notch competitor. But man, he drastically exceeded expectations.

Kamala Harris: Unlike the last few debates, Harris seemed much more free and willing to take the risk. (She said that at some point Trump was "stuck" in foreign policy.) This looseness is probably due to the fact that Harris recognizes that he has very little to lose, given her disastrous voting results and financial problems. But for whatever reason, it worked for Harris overnight. Better than Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in the debate on American foreign policy – reversing the duel between them during the CNN debate in Detroit at the end of July – and became convinced of her campaign: a fighter for the average person.

Pete Buttigieg: It was as if the remaining nine candidates were completely unaware that the polls published over the past few days had shown Mayor South Bend as a leader in Iowa and rising in New Hampshire. Except for a slight stab from Klobuchar, no one really took Buttigieg – and especially, it seemed that he was best at dealing with Gabbard in a duel over the military and the role that the US should play abroad. At one point in the second hour, the moderators raised Harris to hit Buttigieg due to a lack of appeal by black voters. But she said she agreed with him! Buttigieg came across a bit too routine and programming for me – sometimes he seemed to recite a speech he remembered – but his campaign would be delighted to walk away from this debate without scratching. Also, when you analyze the debate, you'll hear a lot of this passage from Buttigieg: "I know that from a Washington perspective, what is happening in my city may look small, but honestly, where we live, the fight for Capitol Hill is what looks small. "


debates: Debates relate to debates. As with the candidates, they talk about how they differ on key issues so that voters are fully informed about the election before them. This was not the case in Atlanta on Wednesday evening. Instead, candidates were asked about issues that they completely and completely agree on – what candidate for the Democratic President will not support the accusation of Trump ??? – or with wide parking spaces to give substantive speeches on the subject. An indecisive voter who sees the differences between the candidates would be very disappointed.

Joe Biden: The former vice president's first response was shaaaaaky. And it got even worse, considering that the question was an absolute softball: how did he feel he was attacked by Trump? Halfway through the debate, Biden got to his feet; his answer to the question of why he wanted to become president and why he was exceptionally ready for work was the best answer for the entire debate season. But then everything changed. New Jersey Cory Booker scored a Biden quote about marijuana legalization. ("I thought you might have been high when you said that," Booker joked, roaring with the laughter of the crowd.) And Biden committed something he is known for: unforced error. Speaking of domestic violence, he said that people just had to "dig up" this problem. I know what he meant. But it was definitely a bad choice of words. And one more thing: he said he had the support of the only black woman elected to the Senate. Except he forgot Harris was on stage. "Proud to be the second Black woman elected to the US Senate. #DemDebate " tweetował Harris soon after. (Biden seems to refer to former Illinois senator Carol Moseley Braun, the first black woman elected to the Senate – though not the only one. Moseley Braun is a strong supporter of Biden.)

Healthcare: Healthcare is a critical issue in each of the last four choices (at least). It also happens that four leaders – Buttigieg, Biden, Warren and Sanders – apparently disagree. So why did we devote only a few minutes of debate to this? And none of the differences between the candidates – "Medicare for All" or not – were the subject of legal disputes in any meaningful way. What?

Tom Steyer: Quick, name something the billionaire said during the debate. Well. Similarly. And that's the problem. Steyer and his campaign must have been delighted that Biden had somewhat inexplicably argued with him about his commitment to the coal industry, but the fight seemed to fail even before it began. Steyer is not going anywhere – he has a lot of money and is willing to spend it – but he really has to find a way to impress. And he didn't do it on Wednesday evening.

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