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Debate Debrief: Clinton and Sanders square-off in New Hampshire

February 8, 2016

By American Enterprise Institute

Last night, MSNBC hosted the second Democratic presidential primary debate of 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire. Former secretary of state and senator from New York Hillary Clinton and current Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) came to the University of New Hampshire campus in advance of that state’s primary on Tuesday, February 9th. This marks the first weeknight primetime debate for the Democrats since their first debate, on Tuesday October 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. This also marks the first two-person debate of this election cycle.

Since Clinton won the caucuses in Iowa by less than a percentage point, a “virtual draw,” the stakes are constantly rising for both candidates. The voters in the “first in the nation” primary state differ from Iowa caucusgoers; with the results of Iowa seeming to cast doubt on traditional polls, it is unclear how New Hampshire’s Democratic and independent or undeclared voters will align themselves next week. (New Hampshire offers primary day registration to undeclared voters, who account for up to 44% of voters in the state.)

AEI scholars broke down this first in the Democratic race:

Karlyn Bowman:

A very tough debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. I doubt there was a clear winner, as both scored points, and I doubt it changed the minds of many Hampshire voters. Bernie Sanders’ closing statement was personal and strong. The audience loved it. Based on last night’s discussions, voters will have a stark choice in November.

Read the full article at the American Enterprise Institute: Debate Debrief: Clinton and Sanders square-off in New Hampshire