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5 takeaways from the second Democratic debate

by PABLO ROA

With the presidential election less than a year away, the race for the nomination is heating up on both sides of the aisle.

Republican candidates met on the debate stage last week for their fourth debate of the primary season. Last night, the three remaining Democratic candidates met at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for their second debate.

The race for the Democratic nomination has dwindled to three candidates since the last debate, as Senators Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee dropped out earlier this month. Now the battle for the nomination is between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, with all three meeting on the stage last night.

Without further ado, here are five takeaways from the second Democratic debate:


 1) Debate in the Shadow of Tragedy

Early in the day on Saturday, the last thing on the minds of many Americans was a presidential debate. The tragic events of Friday evening in Paris dominated the news worldwide on Saturday and captivated the hearts and minds of people around the planet.

While the debate went on as scheduled in spite of the attacks, the tragedy had a major impact on the structure and dynamic of the debate.  The candidates, moderators and spectators held a moment of silence for the victims prior to the debate. Candidates also offered their condolences in their opening statements.

Continue reading 5 takeaways from the second Democratic debate

5 takeaways from the first Democratic debate

by PABLO ROA

After a summer of controversy, surprise and speculation in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the five candidates finally met on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday night.

The candidates discussed a variety of issues, both foreign and domestic, and outlined how they would lead the country forward if they were elected president in 2016. The debate was the first of six debates scheduled before the Democrats select their nominee next year.

For frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tuesday’s debate was about shifting the focus of her campaign from the ongoing email controversy that has hampered her campaign for months to actual policy objectives. For Senator Bernie Sanders, who is gaining on Clinton in early-voting states but still trails nationally, the debate was about spreading his message to those who may not know him yet and showing the Democratic Party that he is a viable alternative to Clinton.

For the other three candidates—Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee—the debate was about getting noticed. According to polling averages on RealClearPolitics, all three candidates were polling under 1 percent prior to the debate and need to improve their national recognition to stand a chance.

With all of this in mind, here are five takeaways from last night’s debate: Continue reading 5 takeaways from the first Democratic debate