Debate issues ranged from health care to foreign policies and gun violence to the economy. Here are the five major takeaways from Thursday night’s debate:
- Yang was asked a high volume of questions, especially pertaining to the economy.
Questions in the debate revolved around the economy so it made sense that entrepreneur Andrew Yang would be the candidate in the spotlight for this debate. He is not a career politician; he is an entrepreneur who understands the nooks and crannies of the economy. As solution for income inequality, he promised to implement the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income. Despite his low poll numbers, his answers to the questions on the economy proved himself to be a qualified running candidate compared to the older and more experienced candidates on stage. Moreover, asking Yang a high volume of questions during the debate could have also been an effort gearing towards hearing a more younger and progressive perspective.
- The economy seemed to be the most popular issue.
Most popular topic of issue seemed to be the economy because it is, indeed, the core of several other issues such as health care, taxes, retirement, and more. Americans are not sharing equally, GDP seems to be slowing down, and investors fear an economic recession on the horizon. So what are the Democratic candidates’ plans for the economy? It seems like no one had much to say. The word “recession” was mumbled once in the entire debate. No one talked about unemployment, job creation, wages, or even the national debt.
- The environment received very little attention and emphasis.
The debate fell short on time and talk in regards to environment most possibly due to the seven hour CNN climate town hall discussion that went on air earlier that month. Though environment was least popular issue discussed in the debate, the candidates made sure to bring forward that point every chance they got.
- Biden and other top candidates received the most questions.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the leading candidates had the most speaking time in the debate. But did you think it would go any other way? Leading candidates are well-known nationwide; voters will want to hear the views and plans of popular candidates compared to the more second-tier candidates. More exposure to the leading candidates helped increase viewers on the news channel as well as voter participation.
- Warren and other women candidates were marginalized.
Debates in the US have always consisted of white, rich male candidates up until recent Hillary Clinton’s appearance in the primary presidential election in 2008. But did it really improve the appearance of future female candidates? During the Thursday debate, the female candidates were forced to use the rebuttals portion of the debate to voice their policies and opinions for the debate topics, since they were not asked as many topic questions individually. Yang received many questions regarding the economy; on the other hand, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked five questions but none regarding education, in which she has a qualified experience. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was asked three questions. California Sen. Kamala Harris, coming fourth in the polls, was only asked one question. Women should have the same opportunity and fair chance to answer all the questions that the men did in the debate. Why were not the voices of female candidates given the same significance as the men on stage?
— Alby Alex