Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate – hashtagged “Dem Debate” – was the last face-off before voting starts in Iowa and New Hampshire, and the candidates made their last appeal to voters by discussing hot topics such as guns, health care, national security, foreign policy, and terrorism.
The debate, which aired on NBC, garnered 10.2 million television viewers and another 1.2 million viewers via live streaming on NBCNews.com, YouTube, and other apps. The showdown was widely received that it drew another 552,000 viewers and 173,000 A25-54 viewers on its second airing on MSNBC.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 19, 2016
Based from Google’s fact sheet about the debate, Bernie Sanders was the most-searched Democratic candidate on Google during the dem debate.
With the senator’s late surge in popularity, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, tried to question his abilities and experience in becoming America’s next leader. She also defended Obama for taking on Wall Street.
Hillary Clinton’s debate strategy: embrace President Obama https://t.co/ZrIXKKtLpS
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 18, 2016
Sanders made a cutting remark about Clinton’s attacks, citing her campaign’s source of funds.
“I don’t take money from big banks, I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs,” the Vermont senator said.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 18, 2016
According to Google, search interest in Universal Health Care rose to 400 percent; NRA surged over 500 percent during Sunday night’s showdown, while “Black Lives Matter” got a 350 percent leap.
During the Democratic presidential debate, Clinton questioned Sanders’ universal health care policy, which, according to her would impose tax increase on the middle class.
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) January 18, 2016
“To tear it up and start over again, pushing our country back into that kind of a contentious debate, I think is the wrong direction,” Clinton said.
Sanders was enraged that Clinton insinuated that he wanted to get rid of Obamacare.
“No one is tearing this up, we’re going to go forward,” Sanders retorted. According to him, about 29 million Americans are still without health care.
NRA was among the hottest topics during the dem debate. Clinton grilled her opponent for his stand on gun ownership and voting with the NRA. She enumerated all the times that Sanders defended gun manufacturers and gun rights supporters in Congress. However, she also commended him for changing his stand on immunity, after Sanders withdrew from a 2005 vote that granted gun manufacturers immunity from prosecution. He then declared his support for a proposed bill amending that vote.
Ironically, the heated debate took place just a block from the Charleston, South Carolina, church where nine African-Americans were killed after a white supremacist went on a shooting spree.
“I think that Secretary Clinton knows that what she says is very disingenuous,” the Vermont senator told the audience. He made it clear that he had a D-minus voting rating from the NRA.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 18, 2016
Clinton also boasted her relationship with African-American voters. When asked if the African-American lives are deemed “cheap,” the former Secretary of State did not deny that it is happening. “Sadly, it’s reality.”
During the dem debate, search interest in ISIS spiked to 150 percent. Google also revealed that Iowa was the state with the second-most search queries on ISIS.
Talking about foreign policy, Clinton stressed that she had a three-point plan to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq and to stop the civil war in Syria. Sanders, on the other hand, said it would not be wise to send more Americans into the conflict in Syria, and reminded everyone of the Iraq war that Clinton supported in 2002.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, the top-tweeted topics during the showdown were healthcare, foreign affairs, energy and environment, economy, and national security.
— Bill Kendrick (@billkendrick) January 18, 2016
Sanders’s rising popularity among younger voters became even more obvious during dem debate as he was the most-mentioned candidate on Twitter. Democratic frontrunner, Clinton ranked second while O’Malley ranked third.
The most discussed topics on Facebook during the dem debate were Benghazi, Medicare, Wall Street, climate change, and crime and criminal justice.
[Image by Andrew Burton, Getty Images]