5 takeaways from the South Carolina Democratic debate

Mark Z. Barabak and Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

Well, that was spunky!

South Carolina has a history of rapscallion politicians and rowdy debates and Wednesday night's two-hour throw down in Charleston was no exception.

For those not named Michael R. Bloomberg or Bernie Sanders the debate may have been the last best chance for candidates to assert themselves ahead of Saturday's Democratic primary, which could claim several casualties ahead of the balloting blitz on March 3, Super Tuesday.

Here are five takeaways:


It took two Sanders victories and a third strong showing for his rivals to admit it, but on Wednesday night there was no doubting it: The Vermont senator is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.


With Sanders threatening to run away with the contest, other candidates did all they could to trip him up.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar mocked his lofty promises: "The math does not add up."

Pete Buttigieg took on his support for the Senate filibuster, in which bills need 60 votes instead of a simple majority to pass, accusing Sanders of impeding progress. "How are we going to deliver a revolution if you won't even support a rule change?" the former South Bend, Ind., mayor scoffed.

Joe Biden all but accused Sanders of having blood on his hands for his past votes that aligned him with the National Rifle Association.


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