7 key takeaways from Thursday’s Democratic debate

Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick

The debate in its entirety is available on the PBSNewHour YouTube channel.


On Thursday night, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated for the second time since Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race following his failure to register in the Iowa caucus. The two candidates spent much of the debate disagreeing about the ways to achieve similar goals. The debate followed Sanders’ overwhelming victory in the New Hampshire.

1. Bernie Sanders’ campaign is funded entirely by donors averaging $27 apiece. Hillary Clinton is the recipient of Wall Street money, but she pointed out that so was Obama, and he managed to create policy that was hard on Wall Street.

2. Despite accusations from some feminist leaders that a vote for Sanders is not feminist, Clinton made it clear that women should feel empowered to vote for whomever they choose. Both candidates acknowledged that women’s rights are under attack.

3. Bernie Sanders calls for free higher education while Hillary Clinton calls for debt-free education.

4. The two candidates differ on their beliefs on universal health care. Clinton aims to add to what the Obama administration has already created, while Sanders calls for more extreme changes.

5. Both candidates clearly opposed the idea of deporting the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States today. Sanders mentioned the need to create a path towards citizenship, and Clinton reminded voters that she was one of the original sponsors of the DREAM Act. When the issue of the border-crossing children was brought up, Clinton maintained that a message should be sent to the parents of those children to not send them on the dangerous journey, while Sanders argued the children must be cared for, and no message needed to be sent.

6. Clinton and Sanders both tried to appeal to African-Americans by addressing prison reform, institutional racism, over-policing and inequity in sentencing.

7. Hillary Clinton was aggressive after the New Hampshire loss and delivered what Sanders called a “low-blow” in regards to his criticisms of President Barack Obama. However, Sanders did not bring up the “damn emails,” or Benghazi, upholding the cleanliness his campaign is known for.

Collegian Reporter Tatiana Talesnick-Parafiniuk can be reached online at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @tatianasophiapt.