On Oct. 13, 2015, the Democratic Party held the first of six debates, that will lead up to the deciding primaries that will take place in 2016. Five of the presidential hopefuls were questioned by Anderson Cooper. However, only two candidates have truly captured national attention. Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and former secretary of state, took her place next to Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders whose campaign has caught fire due to in large part because of his radical views on income inequality and the disappearing middle class.
Sanders along with each candidate displayed their high points and had temporary moments of weakness. Clinton provided carefully constructed answers to all of Cooper’s questions on foreign policy and her inconsistent history as a politician. However, she also seriously mishandled her response when asked about her justification for hosting a private email server, during her time as secretary of state. Sanders at that point ironically came to her rescue, remarking that everyone should just forget about the emails and focus on the real issues. Proving to viewers that he is a politician who wants to get things done and focus on substance, not capitalizing on petty political attacks on his future colleague. Sanders’ weak response came during a discussion on the topic of gun control, wherein he failed to take a firm position when asked if gun manufacturers should be held accountable for deaths caused as a result of someone using their products.
It was a long night that seemed to go by in an instant. Two hours of debate on hard issues, with each candidate, forced to confront the skeletons in their closet from the beginning. In the end, though, after the closing statements, while every viewer had more-than-likely formed an opinion on the debate, the one question on everyone’s mind was, who won?
Currently, who wins a debate is a very objective, and contested concept. There is not a scorecard, and it is largely a matter of opinion. Analysts will look at each candidate individually and make decisions based on decorum, their ability to provide detailed answers within the time limit, and among a plethora of other criteria. Aside from the professional analysts, some news outlets also hosted online polls. The site provides access and allows any viewer to vote for which candidate they believed won the debate. If one could, assume that access and knowledge of the polls were not possible, and the only available sources of information were the news headlines appearing the following day, some would think that Hillary Clinton won the debate in a landslide, rigorously outperforming all other hopelessly unprepared candidates. In reality, that would only be partly correct because according to those polls there was an obvious and clear winner.
Based on the polls above and the focus groups that also came to their conclusions, the real winner was Bernie Sanders, by no small margin. In one poll hosted by CNN, Bernie Sanders got over 80 percent of the vote, compared to Clinton’s much less impressive 11 percent. There was not a single poll in which Sanders did not beat out Clinton by at least 18 points. In some cases, Clinton dropped to third. So why the deceit? Why would the news outlets go to such great lengths to cover up such a grand slam win by a very legitimate presidential candidate?
Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist senator from Vermont, has based his entire campaign on income inequality and closing the gap between the 1% and the rest of the working class in America. For big companies, this means fewer tax breaks, higher wages, and giving all full-time employees benefits. It can be argued that big corporations like Fox, CNN, or the New York Times, would rather not see Sanders become president because it threatens the lifestyle of their company executives. Therefore, it is in their best financial interest for Sanders not to win the nomination.
Because of a potential ploy to skew media coverage and ongoing dismissal of Sanders’ success even though he is a hugely under-rated candidate, it is now more critical than ever for registered voters to do what it takes to stay informed about the political affairs in America. Some major news outlets have demonstrated their willingness to report bald-faced lies in an effort to manipulate the election. Allow no one tell you otherwise, in spite of what the media wants the American people to believe, Bernie Sanders, the unlikely socialist from Vermont, is the Democratic frontrunner after the first Democratic debate.
Opinion by Levi Tupper
Edited by Jireh Gibson
The Atlantic: Who Won the Democratic Debate?
Alternet Media: Bernie Won All the Focus Groups & Online Polls, So Why Is the Media Saying Hillary Won the Debate?