Democrats had their best debate yet in Nevada as Bloomberg and Sanders took fire from all sides as Biden, Buttigieg, and Warren showed strength.
Democrats Who Won
1). Elizabeth Warren – If one believes that debates are won based on clips that get played on cable news, and moments that stick the voters’ minds, Sen. Warren had one heck of a night. Having a billionaire right next to her, was like flashing a red cape in front of a bull. Warren decimated Mike Bloomberg. She was ready, and reminded everyone of the populist fighter who was on the upswing early in the campaign.
2). Pete Buttigieg – Mayor Pete had his sharpest debate of the year so far. Buttigieg went after Bernie Sanders on holding his supporters accountable, stood up for working people, and clearly defined and clearly explained the middle lane that will appeal to Independents in November.
3) Joe Biden – Biden was strong, and it was clear that people who were trying to write him off were making a big mistake. Biden took on both Sanders and Bloomberg and demonstrated why polls continue to show him as the Democratic candidate who would have the best chance of beating Trump.
1). Bernie Sanders – Sen. Sanders wasn’t great, but he wasn’t horrible either. There was nobody who was already supporting Sanders who left him after this debate. There was also probably no one who wasn’t supporting him who was moved over to his camp. The problem for Sen. Sanders was that Mike Bloomberg did some serious damage by linking his economic ideas to communism and exposing him as a socialist millionaire with three houses. Bloomberg came at Sanders hard and he didn’t have many great retorts.
2). Mike Bloomberg – Bloomberg was also uneven. The former mayor was hit on everything from stop and frisk to his sexism, and trying to buy the nomination. Bloomberg was the first candidate in two presidential election cycles who was able to land heavy blows on Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg like Sanders is a flawed candidate who showed both the good and the bad in his candidacy.
3). Amy Klobuchar – One gets the sense that Bloomberg’s arrival will end up pushing Klobuchar out of the race. There doesn’t seem to be enough room in the middle lane of the primary for four candidates. Klobuchar may do a little better in Nevada than some expect, but the writing is clearly on the wall for the future of her candidacy.
What You Need To Know After The Nevada Debate
Some of the candidates that media proclaimed to be dead, Biden and Warren, for example, are likely to do better than their first two showings. Bloomberg didn’t step on to the stage and assume the status of a frontrunner, but he will be a force, and an all-out war is building between him and Bernie Sanders.
Nevada will likely add to the confusion.
There is no clear frontrunner, and this primary will likely be settled at the convention.
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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