Tonight was the fifth Democratic debate. This debate welcomed 10 candidates onto the stage, which was two fewer than we saw in the October debate. Who do you think won tonight’s debate? Vote in the poll, which is at the end of this article.
The candidates who were in tonight’s debate for the Democratic nomination were Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.
The debate started with questions about President Donald Trump’s possible impeachment. Warren said that Trump had obstructed justice and supported impeachment. Klobuchar said she called for an impeachable proceeding and wants to review each count individually. Sanders said Trump may be the most corrupt President in history, but campaigns shouldn’t be just consumed with issues about Trump because of other issues facing Americans too. Buttigieg pointed out a question regarding Trump and veterans’ donations, and said that the country will need to fight for other crises also. (Note: Snopes listed this question about veterans as partially true and partially false.)
Biden said that he’s learned Trump and Putin don’t want him to be President. Harris said that we need the same set of rules for everyone and we need justice back to America for all people.
Before Yang, Booker, Gabbard or Steyer could be asked a question, Warren was asked a second question. Then Booker was given his first question, where he agreed that estate tax and capital gains taxes needed to be raised, but he wasn’t in agreement with Warren’s idea on wealth taxes. Booker also called for minimum wage to be raised, but wants the economy to provide equality in opportunity as well.
Warren was then asked a third question before an initial question was asked to Gabbard, Steyer or Yang.
Twenty-four minutes in, Gabbard received her first question, after Biden and Sanders clashed over Medicare for All. Gabbard said she believes the party needs to be put back into the hands of the people.
Harris claimed Gabbard spoke full-time against Democrats four years ago. But Gabbard said that Harris was simply focusing on smears and it sounded like Harris would continue regime change wars.
At 29 minutes in, Steyer got his first question. He said he puts together coalitions of Americans to take on corporate power. He also said he’s the only one on the stage who will talk about term limits.
Yang got his first question at 32 minutes in. First he supported Steyer’s climate change actions and then said AI, climate change, military drones, and non-state actors were among the greatest threats a new President will face.
Yang was asked what he would say in his first call to Putin if he won. He said, “First I’d say sorry I beat your guy.” Warren quipped: “Sorry not sorry.” Yang said they’d live up to their international commitments.
Near the end of the debate, Tulsi Gabbard and Pete Buttigieg had their own showdown, when Buttigieg said she sat down with dictators, and Gabbard said that he wouldn’t have the courage as President to meet with both adversaries and friends.
The Democrats discussed issued like paid family leave, housing issues, foreign policy, taxes, and more tonight. They talked about endless wars and Sanders said it was indeed time to bring the troops home, but he wouldn’t do it through a 3 a.m. tweet.
FiveThirtyEight has said that primary debates can change the outcome of the election, especially during the earlier debates. In fact, nearly 60 percent of people in studies have shifted their choice after watching a debate, especially if it’s earlier on in the election cycle and the viewers don’t know as much about the candidates yet.
Sometimes it’s tough to predict who will get the most attention at a debate. In June, Tulsi Gabbard was the most-Googled candidate. Kamala Harris trended after her big debate with Biden. Also in June, Andrew Yang trended the next day on Twitter because of his claims that his mic was turned off. In July, Marianne Williamson was a surprise debate star after her statements about reparations. Then in September, Julian Castro got a lot of attention because of his spars with Biden. And Biden trended after he recommended that viewers listen to their record players every night. In October, Sanders was a big trend because it was his first debate after his heart attack and news broke right after the debate that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was going to endorse him.
Who was the ultimate winner of tonight’s debate? Was it the candidate who spoke the most or had the most meme-worthy statements? Was it the candidate who sparred with another candidate in a way that really grabbed viewers’ attention?
Now that you’ve read the article, vote in Heavy’s poll below. Who do you think won tonight’s debate? The candidates are listed in the poll below.