Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton took the Democratic campaign to Florida with a Spanish-language debate. Here are the winners and losers from the Univision Democratic debate.
Winners and Losers:
1). Hillary Clinton – Thanks to a series of questions that were based on Republican talking points, Hillary Clinton was able to knock several myths that Republicans are floating in a desperate attempt to harm her candidacy. Clinton took on the Republican conspiracy theory about her emails, and she vowed that she will not be indicted. She also was given a chance to slam and knock down the Benghazi conspiracy theory. There was never a time in this debate when Clinton was knocked back on her heels.
Because Clinton and Sanders agree on the big objectives, the contentious points between the candidates revolved around points like votes taken in the Senate. Hillary Clinton quickly rebounded from her surprising loss in Michigan and continues to roll towards capturing the Democratic nomination. Clinton said nothing during this debate that would cause her supporters to flip to Sanders.
2).Bernie Sanders – Sen. Sanders had a good night. He refused to play the media game of buying into the Republican conspiracy on Clinton’s emails. Sanders held his own on the issue of immigration. There is a pattern in these debates that is also evident on Election Day. Sen. Sanders is good enough to run toe to toe with Clinton, but he doesn’t do enough to distance himself from her.
Sanders has been good in all of these debates, but he didn’t have anything new to throw at Clinton to slow her down. Sanders hit Clinton on Goldman Sachs speeches; the money she has taken from Wall Street, the Wall Street bailout, the Ex-Im bank, but these are all points that have been made in previous debates. There is a line of thought that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Sen. Sanders did a great job of introducing himself to Spanish-speaking voters, and would not be surprising if he closed the gap on Hillary Clinton in Florida before next Tuesday. Sanders did nothing to hurt himself, and he demonstrated that he is more than a worthy option for voters who may be reluctant to support former Sec. of State Clinton.
3). The Democratic Party – Both of the Democratic candidates are strong choices. The Republican Party has found itself in a position where they are stuck with Donald Trump and a trio of also-rans. The debate between Clinton and Sanders centered around a disagreement over process. Hillary Clinton is an incrementalist. Bernie Sanders is a revolutionary who is shooting for the moon. Who each voter prefers is a matter of preference. The bottom line is that unlike Republicans, Democrats can hold debates that neither of their candidates emerges from damaged for November.
Listen to Sarah Jones and Jason Easley discuss the Univision debate:
1).Univision Moderators – The Univision moderators asked some of the worst questions of any debate in 2016. The moderators may have thought that they were pushing for answers on hot-button issues, but their questions were loaded with Republican bias. Whether they were talking about emails or Benghazi, the moderators seemed more interested in making news than informing the voters. After the Sunday CNN Democratic debate that put an emphasis on provoking conflict ahead of issues, the Univision debate took the discussion to a new low. Univision deserves to be criticized for their poor presentation of a debate that should have been centered on vital issues.
2).Donald Trump – Donald Trump got called out for his racism and bigotry by Sen. Sanders while former Sec. of State Clinton declined to offer much of a preview how she would take the billionaire down in a general election. The Democratic candidates came out of this debate in a stronger position for November than Trump. The contrast between Clinton/Sanders and Trump is dramatic. After watching Clinton and Sanders is obvious that Trump is unfit to be president.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association