The fourth Democratic debate took place Tuesday night. Even more than usual, it came at a time of extreme turbulence in Washington with the impeachment inquiry in full effect. As the Democratic field is taking shape and the 2020 race is closing in, there is a lot at stake and a lot to unpack.
So, who came away as the night’s big winner? Is there anyone who performed especially poorly? Were voters’ most pressing questions addressed?
“We heard a lot more about foreign policy, we heard a lot more about economics, bread and butter type issues,” says Democratic political strategist and media consultant Jill Alper on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson.
“Unfortunately, we had to touch upon impeachment,” she says.
“I do think that it was more substantive than we’ve seen in the past,” says Kim Trent, a Detroit-based communications consultant who also serves on the Wayne State Board of Governors. “I think, in the past, that we’ve probably given way too much focus on healthcare…we’ve kind of cast aside issues that are really important that we got to last night, like the economy.”
“When you’re in a state like Ohio, there’s no way you can not talk about jobs and the future of jobs and the future of work,” Trent continues.
“Last night showed us the benefit of a substantive debate,” says Dennis Darnoi, a Republican political consultant who tracks voter data and trends. “You heard it from Andrew Yang, Mayor Pete (Buttigieg), Amy Klobuchar, where they said one view isn’t the only view. And from that debate last night, we saw a number of different policy proposals attacking problems that are real and resonate with the voters. So, I think last night’s debate was important from the standpoint of hearing many different solutions for problems that affect the entire country.”
All three panelists agree on which candidate they think is now in the drivers’ seat to win the nomination.
“Right now, Elizabeth Warren has the momentum,” says Alper.