“Warren had a strong performance. For instance, she may have had the line of the night by shooting down a Delaney attack by asking why someone would run for president if they don’t have big ideas and plans. Warren has been firm and aggressive in defense of her progressive views, continuing to use the word “fight” over and over again when describing how she’ll take on Trump and change the country. I don’t think she’s going to necessarily rocket up further in the polls, but she’s positioned herself to be a strong contender for the nomination heading into the fall.” – Geoffrey Skelley at FiveThirtyEight.
“Steve Bullock: The Montana governor, to his immense credit, understood that this debate was his one big chance to make an impression with voters — and move from the third tier upward. I’m not sure if his numbers will move in a major way, but Bullock went for it — from his opening statement on. He made clear, time and time again, that he did not believe that the liberal views of Warren and Sanders were grounded in reality and did believe that those views would cost Democrats the election…If moderates were looking for someone other than former Vice President Joe Biden to support in this primary, Bullock offered himself as a viable alternative.” – Chris Cillizza at CNN Politics.
“…While Sanders and Warren correctly pointed out the problems with “good” private insurance ― namely that it’s at the whim of employers and frequently leaves very sick people with huge bills ― they never acknowledged the core political reality that polls have shown repeatedly and as recently as this week: Support for Medicare for All drops dramatically when people hear that enrollment in a new government plan would be mandatory.” – Jonathan Cohn at HuffPo.
“My bottom line–I’m not sure whether any of these five will surge in the polls or be on the debate stage in September. But I think both Bullock and Delaney have succeeded in pushing the Democratic 2020 debate to the center. And I think there’s an outside chance that Bullock actually gets a look from the party.” – Perry Bacon, Jr. at FiveThirtyEight.
“The “moderates,” desperate for a big moment and probably (as my colleague Jonathan Chait suggests) looking to become a back-up option to Joe Biden if he fades, obliged — some through substantive criticisms and others alluding to their fear of public opinion and Republican attacks. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, whose views were generally being challenged by moderators and rivals alike, fired back lustily, too, with Warren emulating and sometimes exceeding Bernie’s customary tone of righteous indignation.” – Ed Kilgore at New York Magazine.
“Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), a candidate who has gained no traction, summed up the critique about an hour into the debate. “In this discussion already tonight, we’ve talked about taking private health insurance away from union members in the industrial Midwest, we’ve talked about decriminalizing the border, and we’ve talked about giving free health care to undocumented workers when so many Americans are struggling to pay for their health care,” Ryan said. “I quite frankly don’t think that is an agenda that we can move forward on and win.” – Andrew Prokop at Vox.
“Ten Democratic candidates struggled to overcome an abysmal debate format and moderators bent on forcing them to address right-wing talking points and attack each other. Some managed to rise nonetheless. Others continued to spur only questions about why, exactly, they were on stage to begin with. Once again, the winners were the progressive policies shaping the race and, by extension, the two candidates who have championed and driven those policies into the national debate…” – Laura Clawson at Daily Kos.