Monday night, there was another Democratic presidential town hall debate, and everyone is asking who won. This is to be the final opportunity for Democratic candidates to make their last big pitches to voters before they hit the caucuses.
During this debate, it looks like Bernie Sanders may have just barely overtaken the debate, but Hillary Clinton put up a good fight.
The three Democratic presidential candidates paint a much different picture than that of the Republican party in size, but they’re just as loud and opinionated as their red opponents. At this presidential debate held in Des Moines, Iowa Drake University, CNN moderators allowed the audience to ask a series of questions in a town hall style debate that got the three debaters both riled and inspired.
In the town hall style debate, the candidates didn’t question each other and listen to the moderators only like the four previous debates, but instead they relied on the audience to chime in and ask questions as the debaters took turns giving their answers.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley were the VIPs answering Chris Cuomo’s and the audience members’ questions that were meant to give the swing state a little more information about who to consider for the primaries. The caucus will take place for both Republicans and Democrats on February 1, and it will act as the first caucus of the year.
In such a close race for the presidential nomination, each question asked and answered was paramount for Iowa voters, but it looks like Sanders may have reigned supreme here. He has passion and anger that fuel his answers and help to either inspire or fire up those listening to his speech.
What has Bernie standing apart from his competitors is his relatability to the common man. At the debate last night, we saw a warmer side to this passionate candidate. He humblebragged about his athletic talents of when he was younger, and then answered a question about releasing his health records by looking at his wife, Jane, in the audience and asking her where they were.
But it’s not just his relatable demeanor that has him as a possible forerunner. He has also set himself apart with his distinct policy ideas. His answers at this debate were more in depth and believable than in the past. Instead of attacking his opponent, which seems to be a favorite pastime of the Republican party, Sanders praised Hillary while at the same time detailing his own opinions and plans of action for important policies like raising taxes to support savings, dealings in Iraq, the Pacific trade deal, and the Keystone pipeline.
But Hillary wasn’t too far behind Sanders. She put up a rousing fight for what she stands for as a politician and a presidential favorite. She especially leaned on the popularity of Barack Obama, explaining how he hired her as the secretary of state and together, they have accomplished some important milestones for the country. This is one thing that appealed to the Republican party, since her stretch in public office hasn’t been all negative.
If she wins the debate and ends up going against Donald Trump, it will be an interesting match up. Trump has the popularity, resources, and fire to win, but Hillary has a long resume and record of helping the American people without offending everyone she talks to.
Unfortunately for Hillary, she’s still lacking some of the popularity of her opponents. Sanders, for example, has a relatable warmth that makes him endearing to voters, while O’Malley has energy to drive him forward. O’Malley isn’t anywhere near Clinton or Sanders in the polls, but he’s still expected to be a vice president or play another important political role.
Still, when it comes to putting up a fight, Clinton knows how to hold her own. She evidenced that strength when one young audience member asked her why the younger generation didn’t seem to be very excited that she was running. Her forceful answer about fighting for people and handling policy and negotiations despite backlash showed what Hillary is made of.
The question isn’t so much who won the debate, because it was a very close call — it’s more who showed the passion and drive to possibly become the next leader of the United States.
[Image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images]