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5 takeaways from the first Democratic debate


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