15 October 2015 - First Democratic Debate
Democratic debate a ratings hit as CNN scores a record 15.3 million viewers
Stephen Battaglio (The Los Angeles Times)
You don't need Donald Trump to make a primary debate a ratings hit.
CNN's first Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday averaged 15.3 million viewers according to Nielsen, well above expectations and the sixth-highest rated non-sports event ever on cable.
The ratings are nowhere near the numbers for the first two Republican primary debates, which had the added attraction of Trump after his candidacy had exploded into a media phenomenon. Fox News had 24 million for its Aug. 6 debate and CNN was close behind on Sept. 16 with 22.9 million.
But no one expected blockbuster numbers for the Democrats' event, the first time front-runner Hillary Clinton appeared on stage with her rivals for the presidential nomination Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee.
Vanessa Williams (The Washington Post)
Racial justice and gender equality, issues important to a large and increasingly vocal bloc of the national electorate, finally made it to the presidential debate stage in Tuesday’s face-off between the candidates for Democratic nomination.
“I believe in equal pay for equal work for women,” Hillary Rodham Clinton declared in her opening statement.
“Black lives matter,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said, signaling his support for the national movement to address the deaths of unarmed African Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers.
The willingness of the Democratic candidates to embrace these issues on a national stage, along with references to their support for paid family leave, LGBT rights, and health coverage and in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, indicates that they are trying to keep pace with their party’s base, particularly the coalition of voters that fueled Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.
An uneventful debate
The Ideas Weren’t the Freshest, But the Democratic Debate Was a Clear Win for Hillary Clinton
Joe Klein (Time)
In the world of politics before Donald Trump came to save us from rational discourse, most debates were stately, inconclusive affairs. Oh, there would be an occasional zinger or oops moment. There were campaigns that died or came to life on the stage, but for the most part debates, especially in the preprimary months, ratified what already was. This was especially true in years when there was a political consensus among the candidates, as there was in the first Democratic debate of the 2016 cycle. It was an engaging debate, and a serious one, but no barns were burned, moderators insulted, hair sprayed stiff or set on fire. Hillary Clinton won, but not by default. She won by being a positive, unruffled and rational presence—yeah, human even—on a stage filled with lesser candidates.
The earth didn’t move, and the polls probably won’t, either. The most important moment was one of comity rather than confrontation: Bernie Sanders saying that the American people were “sick and tired” of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s “damn” emails. If you kept the Brooklyn accent and replaced “emails” with “bunions” or “heartburn” or “kishkes,” (Yiddish for intestines), you could have been eavesdropping at any given Thanksgiving dinner of my youth. All Jews have an Uncle Bernie: in this case, the powerful surprise was the graciousness of the moment rather than the chronic dyspepsia. Sanders was acknowledging what most Democrats believe—that the hubbub over Clinton’s emails is more a Republican ploy than a national crisis—and by doing so, he burnished his credentials as a truth teller.
Jonathan Martin (The New York Times)
Democrats expressed growing skepticism on Wednesday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. could find a foothold if he entered the presidential campaign as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s commanding performance in the first Democratic debate here abruptly quieted murmurs about her candidacy.
With no obvious constituency ready to support Mr. Biden, his prospects have been based on the possibility of Mrs. Clinton’s faltering, repeating some of the missteps she has made since declaring her candidacy or falling prey to more damning revelations about her use of a private email server as secretary of state.
But with Mrs. Clinton showing her mettle in Tuesday’s debate, and Democrats increasingly convinced that questions about her emails are little more than a Republican and news media fixation, she suddenly appeared far better positioned to allay skeptics in her party. She is scheduled to testify next week before the congressional panel investigating the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
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"15 October 2015 - First Democratic Debate", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), octobre 2015. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/15-october-2015-first-democratic-debate