Winners and Losers of the first Democratic primary debate, night one

Last night was the first Democratic Primary debate of the 2020 election! As a reminder, most of the heavy hitters (Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, and Sanders) are up today. But, we still had strong second tier candidates last night with Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Amy Klobuchar. We also had Elizabeth Warren, who is steadily climbing into the first tier. Here are PoliticsToday’s winners, losers, and candidates to look out for.

WINNERS- Castro got lucky that immigration was the big topic yesterday. It is where he shone above the other candidates, but, surprisingly, he did really good with the economy and gun control rights. We could see him rise in the upcoming weeks. Booker also had a strong showing, but he didn’t necessarily expand on his policies last night, except maybe on healthcare.

LOOK OUT FOR- Ryan and Delaney made really good pitches for a general election, even for centrist Republicans. Not sure if it is appropriate for primary, but both have a chance, if they swing at it, at getting tired Rust Belt, Trump voting Democrats to vote in primaries. DeBlasio needed this stage, and he will appeal to the people that got bored by Warren, but he is super-progressive[even more than Tulsi, Warren and Inslee combined]. Let’s say it’s a not brilliant, but eventful start for him. Let’s see if he rises.

LOSERS- Warren and Inslee (even though Inslee didn’t have much to say and that’s the problem]). It is clear that Warren’s main strength is the economy, which might not work out well for her considering how good that is going. She tries to say that the 1% are the ones that are taking all the wealth, but it is not sure that the message resonates with urban voters. She also didn’t say a word in immigration, and completely faded out in the second hour. Inslee, on the other hand, failed to produce the zingers that he could have had with climate change, and he didn’t differentiate himself on the other issues. 

Join the Conversation


  1. I find it interesting, furthermore, that the news networks think that Warren ‘hit it out of the ballpark’. She didn’t speak for the second half, and looked, honestly, tired when she wasn’t talking. Please comment on this!


  2. Interesting take on the debate. Keep writing and keep watching. What are issues most critical to your age group?
    Ending gun violence? Making college more affordable?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fully agree, definitely could bring a new and completely different perspectiv for those of us from a different generation (to put it nicely) on what things they care about and the degree of engagement with those issues.
      School protests on the climate crisis and so on…


  3. Also read about Warren being a winner in first debate, so did she just fade or wanted the others to shoot themselves in the foot, after having a good first half so went defensive? And using a football (soccer for you) pun decided to park the bus in front of her goal??


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