Alex Stogin, Columnist
On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the Democratic presidential candidates had their first nationally televised debate. It was an informative debate that covered a range of issues. It also gave the electorate an idea of where each candidate stands.
For those who were on the fence about two candidates or unsure about any of them had an excellent opportunity to see who they identify with most. Now that the debate is over, everyone is beginning to discuss who came out as the overall winner.
I believe the winner is a tossup between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. As an avid Sanders supporter, I liked how he was able to portray his message to an audience of more establishment Democrats. More importantly he spoke to millions of potential voters who may have never had a chance to hear his stance on the issues.
Clinton also came out fully prepared to rock this debate and show her fan base why they should stand by her even with the email controversy attempting to drag her down. She did just that. She was poised, prepared and came off as a genuine human being which did nothing but make her more likeable.
Meanwhile, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee needed a stand out night and it’s widely agreed none of them did. Webb held onto stances too far to the right for a Democratic primary. Chaffee was full of gaffes that made him appear incredibly un-presidential. O’Malley tried to appear like a leader and attempted to knock down Sanders and Clinton, but failed in doing so.
In my opinion, and the opinions of many Democratic primary voters, those three are as good as done in this race. The final loser would be Joe Biden. Although he didn’t take to the stage, Clinton’s dominant performance has made it incredibly difficult for him to enter this race and persuade establishment voters to support him over her.
The new debate emerging from this one is whether Clinton or Sanders truly won. The vast majority of media outlets all have Clinton winning by a landslide victory. Still, the internet and general public have shown otherwise. In nearly all online polls and multiple focus groups consisting of Democratic primary voters from all walks of life, Sanders was the winner by huge margins.
On Facebook, he won nearly all polls that were run on the website; on Twitter, Bernie was mentioned more than the other four candidates combined, gained the most new followers by over 15,000 people and had the highest percent of positive comments of all the candidates. Sanders also gained $1.4 million in donations during the debate, the most of any candidate.
Clearly there isn’t a consistent winner between people voicing their thoughts on the internet and the media pundits analyzing the debate. I would urge anyone who missed the debate to watch it online and decide for themselves who truly won.