Presidential debates heat up

With less than four months to go until the Iowa Caucuses, the presidential primaries are heating up. So far, the Republican Party has held two debates, and the Democratic Party held its first debate on Oct. 13. Debates are known to sway polls drastically, as they provide a platform for all the candidates to advocate for themselves on the same stage.

The Republican candidates for president are Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz.

The last two republican debates have led to increased attention on supposed “underdog” candidates. In the first “kids table” debate, Carly Fiorina made a remarkable impression on many Republican voters, and her rising poll numbers allowed her to debate with the other frontrunners for the second debate. Trump is still leading the polls, followed by Carson.

The first democratic debate had only five candidates on stage: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee. Most of the serious debating was between the two frontrunners, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The two had intriguing banter. Sanders exclaimed “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!”defending Clinton, and this led to the two rivals shaking hands and sharing a laugh with the audience. Sanders’ comment was smart, because it showed his desire to talk about the real issues, and that might be effective to convince the strong democrats on Hillary’s side to evaluate Sanders.

Both Sanders and Clinton shined in communicating their stances to the American people. I look forward to see this friendly rivalry continue, as it is in stark contrast to Trump and his fellow Republican rivals’ combative and often disrespectful attitude towards one another.  

The former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley showed the public that he was well versed on the issues, and reiterated perfectly the democrats’ unified stance on the issues when he said “On this stage you didn’t hear anyone denigrate women, you didn’t hear anyone make racist comments about new immigrants, you didn’t hear anyone speak ill of anyone because of their religious belief.”

This is hard to disagree with, following Trump’s remarks in the first two Republican debates. In fact, this statement was just one of many shining moments from O’Malley, who showed his strength throughout the debate.

A lot can change in the four months leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, and the playing field is still open for candidates who are in the middle of the pack to prove to the American people their ability to hold the most powerful political position in the world.

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