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2nd Night – Democratic Primary Debates – Here’s how the candidates scored

2nd Night – Democratic Primary Debates – Here’s how the candidates scored

The second night of Democratic Primary Debates was last night. Again, Ignoring my disgust with their far left positions and only looking at how someone who actually believed them might view their performances, here is how I believe they fared and how their poll ratings will be affected. Just like yesterday, Ratings are from -10 to +10.

Joe Biden: +4.  People were looking for the Joe Biden who can be tough and not as ridiculous as the conservative media makes him out to be.   Biden delivered that. He had excellent delivery, good passion and emotion, definitely in charge and the man to beat. And nobody can out-“tearful” Joe Biden.  Not quite Trumpian, but not bad either.

He cracked just a bit when attacked by Kamala, but his experience showed through most of the night, and he should benefit greatly from this performance.

His goal as the frontrunner was not to lose, but he actually won.

Bernie Sanders: -3.  Bernie was wild as always, and he is a great evangelist for his positions, passionate and utterly honest.  But in this case, he kept getting trapped by the questions which showed that he did not understand how to actually do anything that he has promised (most on the conservative side already know this, but I’m referring to the actual stage performance).

His followers will still be wildly supportive, but anyone who was not previously hypnotized will probably realize from this performance that he is a good evangelist but has no clue how to fix anything.  People have been gathering ammunition against him for a long time, and he is starting to be outed as a charlatan. He lost credibility and will not see a poll bump from this.

Andrew Yang: -5  His manner is typical of a tech guy, very reasonable but not passionate and not very likable. He was not able to speak a lot (almost like he didn’t realize he was supposed to be on stage), and when he did, he did not draw people to him.

While ignoring my conservative instinct that everything out of his mouth was absurd, I can still say that this performance should make him realize he has no shot and indeed did NOT belong on the stage. He has a cult following which may increase quite a bit, but it is not enough for Presidential contention. No visible polling bump for Andrew.

John Hickenlooper: -1 While definitely one the ‘adults’ on stage, and while his experience is considerable as a governor of Colorado, he did not contribute a lot to the conversation. His apparent reasonableness was lost on the audience (from which he had little support).  He was shouted down a lot (the moderators did little to control the candidates), and anything substantive he might have said was quickly forgotten.

He is way down in the polls, this performance will do little to change that.

Marianne Williamson: -6 Marianne appears to have a slight speech impediment, which was disturbing in its first impression (I had never seen her live before). But I got used to it after a while, and I realized she does have some force of personality.  Her problem is that she is completely, utterly unable to talk about specifics.  Her understanding is more about a holistic approach to helping the country, and she talks in dreams not in plans.  Her answers, compared to the (well informed) others on stage, just seemed to be irrelevant. My impression is she is not really executive material.

I seriously broke out in laughter with her final speech that addressed Trump directly, “you harnessed fear to win your election” and “I will harness love and meet you on the battlefield.”  Holy Moly!!

Williamson lost out based on this performance. I believe she will generate a small cult following, but for most, she goes from “little known” to “reject.”

Michael Bennett: -4 – What little opportunity he had to talk was really buried among the passion and substance of the other candidates.  Bennett has a sad voice and sounds a bit like a cartoon character. He doesn’t have it in him to rouse an audience in this kind of company. Nothing stands out about what he said, no memorable stories.

If anyone notices him based on this performance, it will be to dismiss him.

Kamala Harris: +7  Kamala managed to participate in all of the conversations, frequently breaking in, but without being too rude.  It was effective.  The crowd was definitely in her favor and established herself well, with substantive arguments. Of course when she took shots at Biden, she created a debate highlight with soundbites that will be played over and over (Sorry Joe, your response was actually good, but nobody will play that…).

Note: The question isn’t why did she do this.  The question is, why didn’t everyone else?  It is actually ridiculous that others did not do this, since anything vs. frontrunner Joe Biden gets you immediate and lasting coverage. What would you have to lose?

Her final speech lost her some points, seemed a bit weak and uninspired in comparison to the rest of her performance (her campaign should have known better than to allow this to happen, SERIOUS mistake in preparation).

Overall this is a huge victory for Harris, she should see a make a huge jump in the polls, perhaps into actual contention for the nomination (as I predicted in February).

Pete Buttigieg: -3 – Pete presented well and established himself as a decent orator, but for some reason, I was expecting him to stumble (he didn’t really, but it kind of made me nervous…).

Also can’t stop thinking about Alfred E. Neuman, the MAD Magazine character. That imagery from Trump’s tweet is stuck in my head, and I thought about it while he was speaking.

Pete seemed to hold his own, but that was not good enough with Biden, Bernie and Kamala on stage.  There is no way to see this debate and not think that while he might be adequate, he was not the best candidate on the stage. His close was actually good, but it was too little, too late.

I’m thinking the obvious experience differential between Pete and the others in this performance will lose polling points and pull him down to irrelevancy.

Kirsten Gillibrand: -5 Kirsten is confident, passionate  and knowledgeable and gave a great performance.  Unfortunately, the other young strong female on stage was Kamala Harris, who was the superstar of the night.  Being number two in your “type” is deadly, because instant choices will be made, and she will have lost the support of those looking to vote for her type.  If not for Kamala, this would have been a great night for her and she might have seen the jump she needs to be a contender.  I believe the actual result will be a net loss of poll position, perhaps even to irrelevancy.

Eric Swalwell: -3 – Eric was not able to hold his own on this stage.  He is not a bad communicator, but he had no crowd support, and wasn’t able to work his way into the constant interruptive banter with the other candidates.

I can’t say this will hurt him terribly because he is way down in the polls, and this presentation on the national stage may actually give him a slight boost.  But most will be recognizing him (like Williamson) to reject him, not to support him.

Final Author’s Note: The problem with these kinds of debates is that qualities that are not normally good for a politician or a leader are necessary to be heard. Rudeness, pushiness and the ability to plausibly exaggerate to impress the audience are key qualities.  A gentleman like Hickenlooper has no chance, and the ability to see a possibly massive intelligence (like may have been expected from Yang) is totally missed. In short, the audience is really choosing the best propagandist, not the best leader, the most capable adminstrator, or even the best communicator.

Debates this large are essentially a circus.

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  1. J prrrin

    Joe… the best analysis of the debate last night anyone will read today! It’s a must read for those supporters of the new “ kamakasi debate club”. Jp

  2. Bruce

    I’m not. Dem Fan, used to vote split ticket for the best candidates….. but after watching amd listening to Dems for the last two years will NEVER vote that way again.
    I hung in there for two nights looking for a glimmer of hope…… basically what I saw was a lot of hate and giving taxpayer money away to buy votes. I felt the top candidate was Biden, his experience was shining through. He lost credibility when his top pick platform issue was just to defeat Trump. Dems acted just like Hilary , still crying around because their party lost, we’ll grow up and get some big boy panties on!
    The most dangerous candidate is Harris! Will become an absolute Dictator if elected a was me, me , me! Her track record in CA is pretty spotty and she flip flops position like the wind, says one thing then preaches another, what a flake. Trump may like hookers, she had no problem laying on her back with married men! Too bad the wives don’t step up and give their opinion about her values!
    Sanders as wild as ever, always grandstanding , big ideas with no way to pay for them, just raise taxes for every hairbrained cause, screw the middle class so he can play the big socialist! Warren, the worst suck up for buying votes with free stuff, foreign leaders would easily put their boots right up her ass!
    There were a few normal candidates, but lacked the qualities it would take to even handle 1/2 the qualities needed to be President,
    Overall- not a one will protect America from illegal immigration from aliens, the law says they can’t be here if they illegally snuck in! The moderators deliberately kept away from building the wall, enforcing the law, how to pay benefits for millions of illegals. Candidates all said let them in, let them stays here, let Dreamers and all their family members stay, The question is whose paying for all this shit! Does it matter that benefits paid will destroy welfare, soc sec, Medicaid, medical. , that a few of aliens who will work will take jobs from lower skilled Americans and the list goes on……..
    In other words the Candidates don’t give a shit about drugs pouring in, gang members, rapists, violence, murders, a variety of diseases now effecting American citizens, American citizens killed by aliens. The true law on immigration. It’s a fricking invasion, not applying for acceptance in a legal process!

    They bashed Trump verbally, a true trait of a bully! They might want to look in the mirror , supporting aliens that broke the law doesn’t seem to bother them at all. Never heard them mention going after Hilary for emails and uranium, nor Obama for Russian hacking and dealings on Trump campaign.
    They are dam hypocits…. just listen, look at, and puke concerning the actions of Pelosi, Waters, Nadker, Schumer. Dems haven’t did one positive thing to Help America in 2 1/2 years, more interested in wasting taxpayer money on bulkshit.
    As a taxpayer I’m appalled, Denpasar can Go To Hell in a Handbasket!

  3. Dennis Davis

    What we the American people saw the last two nights was 20 men and women not ready for prime time, not ready to become president, not ready to lead America against evil in the world. All they did was pander to their base and support socialism giving away tax payer money to illegals. Not one stood out as a possible candidate to represent the socialist democrat party. They all looked weak and confused with their proposals with no idea how to pay for the give away. Remember democrats promise hope and free stuff to get votes with no real expectation of making their promises come true.

    • Isabel

      Dennis you are so right all were lousy

    • Dewayne shultz

      The Dems hate America and freedom.yet they love illegals and want to give them everything, Strange?
      If this is a sample of the Dems, how can anyone vote for any of them.
      Biden is a disgrace, thief and a liar.
      Being against Trump with no answers is no reason for us to vote for them.
      Save America vote Trump

  4. Dennis Davis

    Joe pancake Biden looks like old stale white bread with green mold around the edges. I call him pancake because he flips and flops when the heat gets to him changing his mind with no real core beliefs.He has no excitement no energy he looks like he just wants to go home and go to bed. Bernie Sanders what a anti-American, leftist, socialist he really is dumb as a rock with no leadership qualities about him. He comes across as a swamp snake who supports the D.C. swamp wanting to make it more polluted and bigger.

    • Elaine

      Well at least he combed his hair last night.


    Loved the comments of Bruce and Dennis. Both right on! So what do the dems do?
    Biden probably done. Sanders far too looney. Does this make K Harris the leader?
    If so the dems have no chance, unless a shinning knight appears out of know where.

    • marleen davis

      Wow, just what America needs. Vote for a hooker Whore. That really says so much about our Republic. Has this Country truly lost it’s mind where they are willing to elect a non-moral, self effacing hooker who cost the State of California millions because she was so bad at her job with the State that she feels qualified to run the entire Country? She will definately take us down and make us into a slum Country in just a few years.

  6. Jose Casas

    As I predicted, no solutions to the REAL country’s problems, all pie in the sky “promises”, no way to pay for them, bash Trump, bash ICE, BP, men in Blue, encourage mass illegal immigration to our already stretched country, LIES, LIES, LIES. Why, to get votes. This madness has got to be stopped at the gates. Thousands, millions of our enemies are already in the compound. They want more!
    If we, who are left, allow this to come to fruition – we, are to blame. We reap what we sow! SAD!

  7. N Canyon

    I watched old movies on TCM.

  8. Jacob Briggs

    Seriously, all these Democrats don’t even come close to being considered Presidential material. In fact, they don’t even start to sound presidential. All of them are more than willing to throw away this country’s sovereignty for the sake of a few million new votes by opening our borders, destroy our health care system to implement a government run system where you are at the mercy of the government that will choose whether you live or die, get rid of the electoral college to nullify votes from less populated states and where big cities like Chicago and NYC dictates to the rest of the country who are President should be, switch out judges on the Supreme Court to push through progressive/socialist ideals to trump individual liberties, push through free crap that will systematically bankrupt this country, and the list goes on. Anybody who thinks this is all great are just as evil as the Democrat Party itself.

    I am a millennial that turned 27 just over a week ago and I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and I will again in 2020. I have been voting GOP since I turned 18 and I won’t be voting Democrat for as long as I live.

  9. Wendy

    Very Interesting….BUT STUPID!
    ReElect DONALD TRUMP..
    Get CONTROL of the HOUSE and continue to FIX ALL THE CRAP the Democrats have created!!!!!