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Divided Democrats On National Security And Election 201647:09
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Can Bernie Sanders stop Hillary’s march to the nomination? We unpack the Saturday night debate and size up the Democrats’ chances against the GOP field.

Hillary Clinton, center, speaks between Martin O’Malley, left, and Martin O’Malley during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Hillary Clinton, center, speaks between Martin O’Malley, left, and Martin O’Malley during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

On the Saturday before Christmas, Democrats held their third presidential primary debate. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley. In New Hampshire, where full-fledged primary voting kicks off February 9, right after the Iowa caucus on Feb 1. For those who weren’t out drinking egg nog, it was a debate that turned toward the general election contest next year. Sanders and O’Malley got their lumps in on Clinton, but Clinton was going after Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. This hour On Point, the Democrats’ debate, and how the big contest is shaping up for 2016.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Lisa Lerer, national political reporter for the Associated Press. (@llerer)
Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report. Columnist for the National Journal Group. (@cookpolitical)
Margie Omero, Democratic pollster and managing director with Purple Strategies. Co-host of The Pollsters podcast. (@MargieOmero)

From Tom’s Reading List

Boston Globe: Sanders apologizes to Clinton over data breach during debate — "The debate was the first time that the candidates, in a field rounded out by former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, have taken the stage since the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist shootings, and it came just six weeks before voting begins in Iowa. As in earlier debates, all three presidential contenders stuck mostly to policy differences with far fewer of the personal attacks that continue to dominate the Republican primary contest."

Associated Press: Analysis: Sanders struggles to gain edge in presidential bid -- "While most polls have Clinton leading by more than 20 percentage points nationally, the contest remains tight in the crucial early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, the latter in which Sanders has an advantage as the longtime senator of neighboring Vermont. His aides believe that wins in those two states would give them momentum heading into the next contests in South Carolina and Nevada, territory where he's struggled to gain traction over the former first lady."

Cook Political Report: The GOP’s Stages of Grief -- "Think­ing about the 2016 Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion has gen­er­ally boiled down to two com­pet­ing views. The first is that Trump and/or Car­son, the con­sum­mate polit­ic­al out­siders, will re­main at the top of the GOP field, with one or the oth­er end­ing up as the nom­in­ee; the pro­spect makes some Re­pub­lic­ans ec­stat­ic and drives oth­ers in­to a near-clin­ic­al de­pres­sion. The second view: While we cer­tainly don’t know who the GOP nom­in­ee will be, we can feel reas­on­ably as­sured that it won’t be one of those two. Ad­her­ents of this view see today’s Re­pub­lic­an Party as be­hav­ing crazily but not ac­tu­ally in­sane. Things aren’t ever quite this simple, but in my view, this di­cho­tomy is close enough. "

This program aired on December 21, 2015.

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