The Democratic presidential candidates took to the debate stage for the last time before the first state primaries, and commentators are noting the heated battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
According to the New York Times, Clinton and Sanders went head to head on issues such as Wall Street regulation, gun control, and who would best uphold Democratic achievements such as the Affordable Care Act.
“Bernie needed an overwhelming victory in tonight’s Democrat debate. At best, he got a narrow one,” stated prominent Republican pollster Frank Luntz. “That won’t be enough to win the Dem nomination. Martin O’Malley’s biggest mistake tonight was not bringing his guitar to the podium.”
USA Today reports that Clinton went after Sanders for his record on failing to support gun control. She pointed to his voting record, but the Vermont Senator contradicted her, reminding audiences that he holds a D minus rating from the NRA.
In contrast to previous debates, foreign policy was not a major dividing point among the candidates. Clinton, USA Today notes, came out of the debate relatively unscathed on this issue.
The other Democratic candidate on the stage, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, went largely unrecognized.
He frequently requested more time to address the questions. He has been polling in the single digits.
Fox News reports that new national polls are showing Sanders gaining on frontrunner Clinton.
Publication date: January 18, 2016