-Welcome, welcome, welcome.
-Thank you. So, uh, let's get into it. We both watched the debate. What are your
initial impressions? So, the big thing is the worst thing you can do
in a debate is, like, screw up, -and nobody really screwed up
tonight. -Right. Particularly Elizabeth Warren,
who's doing well in the polls, did not make any big mistakes.
She did not forget how many agencies
she wants to close, for example. She did not screw up,
and that was big for her. Do you think that
that was the main thing for Elizabeth Warren coming in, was just, like,
don't lose your top spot? That's right, 'cause she's got
the momentum right now. She's done well.
She's been gaining in the polls, and you don't want to make
a mistake, forget something, -say something dumb.
-Right. And I think she did… And
she actually was pretty good, to be honest, you know.
Not just she wasn't bad. -Right. -She was pretty good
in terms of explaining -her policies really well.
-Yeah, she seemed solid. -Yeah.
-She laid out her policy ideas. She knew what
she was coming in to do. And, genuinely, I feel like
she had a certain swag about her where she wasn't afraid
of trying to talk over people. She wasn't… She just, she was
in command of that stage. And when he asked…
when Lester asked who's gonna raised their hand
for Medicare for all, -she was willing to do so.
-Yes. Yes. That was a big moment
where her and de Blasio… I do think of the also-rans or the people who weren't
doing that well on stage, de Blasio and John Delaney,
who I– my guess is John Delaney,
not a lot of folks have heard of up to now, but I thought
he had a pretty strong night in jumping in there
and getting in there. When you look at the policies
that were discussed, it seems like all the Democrats
were, as I say, shades of gray. You know, it was a spectrum, -but it was within
a certain palette. -Totally. Looking at-at, um,
somebody like Amy Klobuchar, she came in,
she was a bit of a contrarian to the rest of the group, but she seemed like she laid out
a pretty good case for why she wanted to do
what she wanted to do. What do you think
each candidate needs to do to try and get their policy
to be the one that's recognized above other policies
which are similar to theirs? It's hard.
Like, if you're Warren, or you're Bernie Sanders,
the answer is, "My policy is way
to the left of everybody else." -Right.
-That's a very clean one. And you saw Delaney tonight
basically saying, "All that stuff, details–
unrealistic, kind of crazy." -Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. -So he's been
to the right of them. But otherwise,
I think it is very hard. You saw Castro tonight
trying to say, -"I have the most… uh, I have
best immigration plan." -Yes. But I wonder,
if for the average viewer, if that was a fairly confusing
conversation where he was… Yeah,
because he-he started talking -about the actual name of the
law. -Name of the bill. Yes, the name of the bill,
and that… -"And I think candidates
should…" -Yes. You know, but I do think Ca… I think Castro was emphatic
on that issue, and also, he's the Latino candidate,
so I think people know. -He spoke about immigration
in great detail. -Mm-hmm. He emphasized his background
a little bit. I think that was useful
for him, as well. Let's talk about the moderators
for a little bit, you know, because a lot
of these debates are determined -by the people who are
moderating the debate. -Sure. What do you think of the job
that they did? So I like the question
where they ask people… I know you made fun
of the hand-raising, -'cause it is like first grade.
-Right. But it does help you understand
where… -Like, the clearest moment is…
-It really does. Yes. I know de Blasio
and Elizabeth warren are for… -are Medicare for All and not
private insurance. -Right. Everybody else isn't. Uh, on Iran, I know that Cory
Booker is somewhat different -than the other candidates.
-Yes. Although, he sort of
confused it a little bit, -so, I don't…
-Because his hand… He, like, was in and out,
not in, and then he said the thing, then
took it back kind of vibe. -He took it back, and it was
confusing. -Yeah, yeah. I'll give them some credit
for not… You know,
the control room jobs are hard. I thought it was good they
didn't bash their colleagues -by name who were not…
-Right. You know,
sort of not doing their… Well, I thought the mod…
I thought they're were some questions
that were great, some that were not great.
I think it's a really hard job. The thing that I thought was
hard to deal with, in fact, was, like–
Inslee, particularly– these guys are all trying
to jump in and say, -"I want to talk, I want to
talk, I want to talk… -Yes. …like a first grade class
again. So I think they did a good job
kind of… -The time… I looked
at the time balance. -Mm-hmm. And Warren and Booker
spoke the most, I think. But it was…
it was not unbalanced. Tim Ryan got to probably speak
the least is what I think I saw. -Right.
-But everybody got to talk some. So I thought the moderators
did a pretty good job. There were… You know,
in terms of asking questions. If you look at the impact
of a debate, I mean, it-it's fair to assume that most of the people
watching these debates would probably be left-leaning
or Democrat, you know? Once it becomes national, it feels like
more people tune in, because now they want to see
policies against each other. If somebody from a red state
were to tune in– and I know this is close to you,
you know, because-because
of where you are from… If someone tuned in
from a red state, what policies do you think
they would have seen today where they would have gone
"Oh, yeah, "that-that… that message
appealed to me as somebody
who lives and votes red"? You know, I don't… You know, I live in Kentucky,
just for the audience. I mean, I don't know
that anything sort of jump… Like, Tim Ryan, I think, did
the best job of saying, "I'm…" -You know, he talked
about the opioid crisis. -Yes. He did a good job.
Actually, he sort of named… He sort of named-checked parts
of Ohio. -Yes, right. -And I think he
talked about red state America. -Klobuchar did, too…
-Right. …in terms of talking about,
she wants to unify all people. -Mm-hmm. -I think those
were pretty good answers. But I do think
it's gonna be hard. I'll be curious what Joe Biden
does tomorrow, 'cause he's the person, I think,
that's most trying to do that. On the other side, there's one
thing to note is that, in general, what we find is
that a lot of people don't actually watch the debate
itself, even though
they tell us they do later. They…
You know, people all… Everybody votes until you look
at the numbers, and then, -people didn't. -Right, right,
right, right, right. And what you find is,
the biggest thing is, like, what happens
in the viral moments. Like, a lot of people
don't watch the debate, and what gets covered
the next day ends up having as big of an impact as actually
what is said in the debates. -Oh, that's interesting.
-So, what the news covers, in other words. So, my guess is,
tomorrow it will be -Bill de Blasio yells at
people… -Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. -…will get out there,
for example. -Right. -You know, Castro took on Beto.
-Yes. -I think that'll be a moment.
-Right. Tulsi Gabbard talking about how we should get all troops out
of Afghanistan. That might be a moment.
So I think that the key thing is,
can you create…? I think the world is now kind of
a viral-moment world. -And I do think…
-Which is… which is… which is bad, because, when it
comes to a debate like this, -you want the nuance.
-You want the nuance. You want the fuller context. Now it seems like things are
gonna be distilled into moments. So, through that lens, which moments do you think
stood out, where you go, "That person did a great job
of branding that"? Because I was watching it,
and for the most part, as much
as Castro was emphatic, I found
that the branding was lacking. -If you… if you're not
familiar with policy… -Yes. …if you don't know
what the numbers are, it didn't connect with you. Which people do you think had
the clearest moments of branding where you go, "That stuck
in someone's head"? The clearest I thought were,
one: Bill de Blasio said, "Private insurance doesn't work. -It has all these problems."
-Right. -I think that was very clear.
-Right. John Delaney,
a few different times, said, "All my rivals have dumb plans
that'll never happen." -(Noah laughs)
-And I'm really…" -He was very blunt about that.
-Right. I think that will come through. And I think Tulsi Gabbard– she mentioned
that she served in Iraq. And I think the fact
that she was so emphatic about saying, "We should have
no troops in Afghanistan. -No one should be dying there."
-Yeah. Those are the three comments. And I think Warren over and over
again said, "I'm a populist. The big companies are doing too
much to hurt the little guy." -Yes. Yes. -I think
her message broke through. I would say who didn't break
through to me– Booker and Beto were two people
I thought, when this race started,
could win. And I still think they're not
doing well in the polls. And as far as I watched,
when I think about this debate, neither one of them said
anything or made a moment that I think would help them
that much. And I think they need
to start having those moments -to get into that top five.
-Well, this was night one. Thank you so much
for joining us. It was more exciting
than most people anticipated. -Yes.
-Appreciate having you here. -Thanks, Trevor.
-FiveThirtyEight. Perry Bacon, Jr., everybody.