Tonight was the seventh Democratic debate. This debate welcomed six candidates onto the stage, narrowed down because of stricter requirements to qualify. The only candidate who didn’t qualify from last month’s debate was Andrew Yang. It was an intense debate, with the Iowa caucus looming near. 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, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren. Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, and Michael Bloomberg did not qualify. Steyer qualified in the very last poll. Last month, readers voted that Andrew Yang won the debate, followed by Bernie Sanders and Tom Steyer.
The January 14, 2020 debate started with questions about which candidate was best prepared to be Commander in Chief. Sanders got the first question, saying that he disagreed with invading Iraq and warned it would lead to chaos in the region, voting against the war.
Biden then said that he made a mistake voting for the Iraq war, but helped to bring it to an end.
Klobuchar got the next question and said she has dealt with life and death decisions in her political career and she opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, followed by pushing to bring the troops home.
Next, Buttigieg talked about the need for a candidate with a view to the future along with learning lessons from the past, with all the challenges facing them.
Warren was asked about a poll that said people thought her ability to lead the military was more of a weakness. Warren said she had the judgment to keep America safe and sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She pointed out that she has visited the troops around the world.
Steyer was the last to be asked the question and he said he has worked around the world for decades meeting with businesses and governments, and he understands how America interacts with other countries. He said the government has made mistakes in the Middle East for the last 20 years, and he added that Obama had no experience when he was against the Iraq war. “An outside perspective…is what we’re looking for now,” he said.
In their closing statements, each candidate had something to say. Klobuchar said that the issues are about “you,” the public, and “we need a candidate who is actually going to bring people with her. I have won every race … every time.” She said she’d be a President who looks out for the public and the individuals, and will bring people together.
Steyer went next, talking about the Iowa caucus in three weeks. He talked about the bond between sports teammates and how the American people are his teammates. He said he won’t let Republicans led by Trump kick American people in the face.
Buttigieg started out by saying this was their one shot to defeat Trump, but they need a different mindset than before. “If you are watching this at home and are exhausted by the spectacle of division…I’m asking you to join me and help turn the page…”
Warren went next, starting out by telling the group that a lot in the country is broken. She mentioned what wasn’t talked about in the debate, like gun violence, disability, children in poverty, risks to trans women, student loan debt, and more. “And yet I come here tonight with a heart filled with hope…because I see this as our moment in history.”
Sanders said they hadn’t asked the major question yet: “How does it happen in the richest country in the history of the world, half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck?” He talked about the 500,000 sleeping on the streets tonight, a broken criminal justice system, and more. “This is the moment when we have got to think big, not small. This is the moment when we have got to have the courage to take on the 1 percent…and create an economy and a government that works for all of us.”
Biden started out by saying that the American character is on the ballot. “Every one in this country is entitled to be treated with respect…” He said the country can overcome four years of Trump, but eight years will “fundamentally change this nation. We have to restore America’s soul. It is in jeopardy.” Biden said we must regain respect and remember who we are. “There’s not a single thing beyond our capacity to do if we do it together.”
FiveThirtyEight has said that primary debates can change the outcome of the election, especially during the earlier debates. But sometimes it’s tough to predict who will get the most attention at a debate. It might be based on problems someone has during the debate, a “meme-able” or funny moment, or a big fight that happens between two or more candidates.
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.