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Wisconsin gets two small mentions in make-or-break Democratic debate

courtesy: ABC

Manchester, N.H. (WKOW) - Friday night, seven Democrats hoping to be the next President of the United States squared off on the debate stage.

The candidates didn't discuss Monday's Iowa Caucus much, but its impact was certainly felt throughout the night.

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who virtually tied in Iowa, came out swinging at each other early during the debate, arguing about how progressive the party should be and how experience factors into qualification to be president.

Those two axes, moderate versus progressive and new ideas versus experience, were what all candidates aligned themselves along throughout the night.

Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren pushed their progressive plans to tackle systemic issues, while former Vice President Joe Biden questioned how those plans would get paid for while highlighting work from his career. Buttigieg argued that Biden's time as vice president was right for the country then, but a new leader will be better equipped to handle new issues, sentiments businessmen Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer echoed, as they fought to keep themselves relevant and ultimately alive in the race for the White House.

Pundits and early reaction have been favorable toward Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who was the only candidate to mention Wisconsin during the debate, which she did twice: once in describing how her mother wanted to be a teacher in Wisconsin when she grew up, and once in an attack on President Trump.

"A president that literally went down to Mar-A-Lago after he signed that Republican tax bill and looked at all his friends and said, 'You all just got a lot richer.' That is Exhibit A for those carpenters in Pennsylvania, and those dairy farmers in Wisconsin, and those dock workers that I met in Michigan," Klobuchar said. "That is an Exhibit A. And we have to be able to make the case to the working people of this country, some of whom voted for Donald Trump, that we have something better to offer."

A large portion of the middle of the debate focused on issues of race. Candidates on the mostly-white stage sparred over their records in dealing with racial issues and their plans to support people of color and tackle systemic racism, a conversation which the other candidates used as an opportunity to go after Buttigieg and Biden, specifically.

New Hampshire's primary will be next Tuesday. Sanders won in 2016, and has a slim lead in the polls currently. Biden is facing pressure to improve on his performance in Iowa, where he appears to have come in fourth.

WQOW Staff

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