After Round 4 of the Democratic presidential debates, we add up the political scorecard. Winners, losers, breakout moments and the issues that dominate.
Sahil Kapur, national political reporter for Bloomberg News. (@sahilkapur)
Aisha Moodie-Mills, CNN Political commentator and Democratic political strategist. Former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, former regional finance director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and former political adviser to over a dozen members of Congress. (@AishaMoodMills)
From The Reading List
Bloomberg: "Rising Warren Weathers Democratic Debate Pile-On as Biden Skates" — "Democratic presidential candidates treated Elizabeth Warren like a front-runner in the fourth debate Tuesday, ripping into the progressive contender on her sincerity and poking holes in her signature policy plans to provide health care for all and tax the rich.
"The race is rapidly becoming a two-person contest between Warren and Joe Biden, who are polling neck and neck and far ahead of the pack. Other candidates, many of whom are courting moderate Democrats and risk failing to qualify for the November debate, made it an uncomfortable evening for Warren — but they failed to knock her off stride.
"For his part, Biden skimmed through the debate and maintained his focus on attacking President Donald Trump on domestic policy, foreign relations and presidential leadership. He faced no criticism from any rivals for his son Hunter’s work on the board of a foreign company in Ukraine while he was vice president, an issue that sits at the center of a House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump."
NPR: "6 Takeaways From The 4th Democratic Presidential Primary Debate" — "The fourth Democratic debate was a long one, about three hours, and ended after 11 p.m. ET.
"You might not have made it through the whole thing, but there were some potentially consequential moments.
"Here are six takeaways:
"1. The scrutiny came for Warren, and her vulnerabilities were exposed some
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was under fire Tuesday night from several opponents, and when that happens to a candidate, you know they're a front-runner.
"Last week, Warren caught up to former Vice President Joe Biden in an average of the national polls, and on Tuesday night she found herself hemmed in, particularly by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
"Buttigieg attacked Warren for promoting 'Medicare for All,' while not having a detailed plan or saying how she would pay for it."
Politico: "Democrats stop faking it — and have a serious debate" — "That was something different going on with 12 Democrats on the debate stage in Ohio on Tuesday night. It was a serious conversation about how to bring change to the party and the country, waged by people making serious claims about what they would do if elected president of the United States.
"Wait, what’s this about?, people who had watched three previous debate rounds this year could be forgiven for asking. Where were the gimmicky one-liners, the cringe-worthy pandering, the well-rehearsed ambushes, the whiny interruptions, the confusing excursions into obscure votes or ancient controversies of little relevance to the choice Democrats face in coming months and all voters will face a year from now?
"Democrats for the most part turned down the noise, and turned up the substance. Most candidates seemed to find their authentic voices, and no one’s performance was defined by the sort of avert-your-gaze blunders that marked previous outings.
"Along the way, two new dynamics shaped the evening.
"The first was the degree of critical focus on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, reflecting a calculation that she, rather than former Vice President Joe Biden, has the momentum in the race and is setting the agenda for the party. She took in the glare for the largest share of the three-hour debate without wilting, or receding for significant chunks of the evening (as she did in previous encounters) when the issues shifted away from terrain where she is most comfortable.
"The second dynamic was an honest illumination of the party’s left-vs.-center debate. In past encounters, this conversation often was portrayed as a choice between 'activists' and 'establishment,' or between bold principles and expedient moderation."
New York Times: "Who Won the Debate? Experts Weigh In" — "Twitter can’t tell us whether, or how, Tuesday’s CNN/New York Times debate might change voters’ minds. But it can give us the perspectives of some of the people with expertise on primary races: veteran campaign strategists and consultants from both parties.
"Here is a sampling of their reactions.
"Warren took fire from all sides
"The strategists agreed on one thing: Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new front-runner status was clear, because she was everyone else’s biggest target. But they were divided on how well she handled the attacks."
This program aired on October 16, 2019.