Winners And Losers From The NBC Democratic Debate (Night 1)

Elizabeth Warren shined while many candidates didn’t stand out. Here are the winners and losers from night one of the Democratic debate.

Winners and Losers From The Democratic Debate

Democratic Debate Winners

1).Elizabeth Warren – Warren came out strong during the debate, and the big question was could she translate her policy plans to 60-second answers. Sen. Warren showed with the first question of the debate that it wouldn’t be a problem. Warren was strong, and it is clear why she has become the favorite of the left in this race. Sen. Warren had a great night and cemented herself as a top tier candidate.

Watch Sen. Warren:

2). Julian Castro – Castro was strong and the leader on the debate stage during the segment on immigration. Castro had the line of the night when he said the drowning of a migrant and his 23-month-old daughter on the border should “piss us all off.” This might not help Castro in the polls, but it did give him a soundbite moment that will be played all over cable news and give him more attention.

Watch Castro:

3). Cory Booker – Sen. Booker reminded everyone of why he was once considered a top tier future Democratic candidate. Booker had passion when he talked about gun violence and health care. Booker’s biggest problem remains how to stand out in such a crowded field. Booker didn’t own the stage, but viewers knew he was there. The debate was a positive step for his campaign.

Watch Booker:

4). Democrats stood together –
It was clear that the candidates mostly passed up opportunities to attack each other. Instead, they were focused on talking about policies and beating Donald Trump. The Democrats didn’t come to the stage with a Hunger Games mentality. They were working together on the stage, and at times it sounded like they were making a unified pitch to defeat Donald Trump.

Democratic Debate Losers

1). Beto O’Rourke –
The criticism of Beto O’Rourke has been that he is short on policy. O’Rourke got into a heated dispute with Castro on immigration. Former Rep. O’Rourke needed to stand out and revive his campaign, but all of his weaknesses were on display, as the same magic that worked during his Texas Senate run isn’t working nationally.

2). John Delaney – Delaney didn’t get much time on the debate stage and didn’t do a lot with what he had. Delany was one of the many candidates who were invisible and wasn’t able to stand out.

3). Tulsi Gabbard – The one thing that the early primary debates can accomplish is that they can reinforce the pecking order of the polling. Gabbard has struggled to gain traction in a field with stronger progressives, and like many of the other candidates, she got little camera time and didn’t give viewers any reason to support her campaign.

The Gabbard campaign complained about their lack of airtime:

4). Bill de Blasio – de Blasio is trying to run as a working person populist, but it sounds hollow and thin. There is no reason for de Blasio to be running for president, and that was very clear during this debate.

5). Tim Ryan – Ryan had one question in the first 90 minutes of the debate. Ryan got so little time that he used his second question to talk about how Democrats need to connect with working-class Democrats. Ryan called Democrats coastal and elitist by perception and said that Democrats needed to become a blue-collar party, which went over like a lead balloon.

6). Jay Inslee – Inslee is an essentially a single issue candidate, and when during the second hour of the debate, he finally got a climate change question, he didn’t hit it out of the ballpark. Inslee has elevated the climate change issue in the primary, but climate change isn’t enough to make him a top tier Democrat.

7). Amy Klobuchar – Sen. Klobuchar lacks the force of personality to be a magnetic candidate, and she sounds like a senator when communicating with voters. Almost every open primary has a candidate that that sounds too inside the Beltway. Klobuchar’s performance was flat and showed why she is a lower tier candidate.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

Follow Jason Easley on Facebook