Ten Democrats compete on stage in first night of debate

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Ten Democrats compete on stage in first night of debate
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Ten Democrats compete on stage in first night of debate
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The first wave of Democratic candidates took to the stage last night for the opening evening of the debates. The two-night event is a joint presentation of NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. Over 15 million people tuned in to watch last night.

Both nights of the debate will be moderated by NBC anchors Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, and Chuck Todd. The three NBC alum will be joined by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart throughout the evening. Some have criticized the networks for allowing Maddow to moderate the event due to her partisan background, though her defenders suggest her political bias makes her particularly well-suited to moderate a Democratic debate.

Candidates were chosen at random to appear on either night, which resulted in Elizabeth Warren polling at nearly four times higher than anyone else sharing her stage. However, Warren did not receive the most time during the first debate. Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke both received more airtime than Warren.

Booker received the most airtime during the debate with nearly 11 minutes. Warren came in third place with just over 9 minutes. Washington Governor Jay Inslee received the least amount of time with only 5 minutes.

None of the candidates seemed to particularly catapult or devastate their campaigns. Julian Castro appeared to get a bit carried away with his pandering when he suggested the federal government should provide “trans females” with abortions, although based on social media reactions to his comments, his base does not seem to mind. Perhaps the biggest gaffe of the evening came when the debate’s moderators needed to cut to a commercial amid technical difficulties.

President Trump had previously indicated that he might live-tweet about the candidates during the debate. However, his only mention of the debate last night night came in the form of a tweet mocking MSNBC, Todd, and Maddow for the evening’s technical issues.

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