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Who Won the First Democratic Presidential Debate of 2020?

Round seven of the seemingly endless Democratic debates, was held January 14 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. This was the last Democratic presidential debate scheduled before the Iowa caucuses kick off on February 3. The evening’s debate was produced in partnership between CNN and The Des Moines Register, and was moderated by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip, and The Des Moines Register politics reporter Brianne Pfannenstiel.

The debate featured six candidates: former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); billionaire Tom Steyer; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Iran, and America’s role in the world, was the first topic of the evening. The debate also covered Medicare for All and how to fund it, the high cost of quality childcare, college tuition, the impeachment of Donald Trump, and the climate crisis.

Another big topic was Sanders’ alleged 2018 comment to Warren that a woman could not win the presidential election, one that he denies making. In his response to the question from the moderators, Sanders pointed to the fact that Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 3 million popular votes. “Of course a woman can win!” he declared.

Warren obviously agreed with this public statement. “Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage. Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women!” she exclaimed to loud applause. “And the only person on this stage who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the past 30 years is me!”

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