Round Two … Fight! Democrats At Each Other’s Throats During Tuesday Debate

( – If you tuned in to the Democratic debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night expecting an all-out brawl between the seven candidates, you were certainly not disappointed.

For two hours, the candidates were at each other’s throats. Bernie Sanders drew the ire of some of his other candidates, drawing at least some attention away from Michael Bloomberg. But even though Bernie had trouble answering poignant questions about how to pay for his single-payer health plan, education plan and socialism — he was even booed at one point — he still emerged from the debate as the frontrunner among the Democrats.

It seems amazing that Sanders has kept his grasp on the top spot for so long, despite his continued inability to truly explain the logistics behind any of his grand plans. Specifically, he hasn’t been able to answer how he plans to pay for his Medicare For All plan, which is the central talking point of his entire campaign. If anything, the fact that he has still remained on top may be a knock on his challengers more so than a positive nod to him.

Elizabeth Warren looked like the most polished debater on the stage. Even when pressed on questions about how her policies are similar to Sanders’, she had good responses about how she would actually take her ideas and make them happen.

Warren again turned up the heat on Bloomberg, raising questions about his treatment of women and how he has contributed to the campaigns of so many Republicans in the past. The real question, though, is whether Warren did enough in Tuesday’s debate to make a real difference at the polls in South Carolina this weekend or on Super Tuesday next week.

Former vice president Joe Biden finally stepped up to the plate to deliver the performance his supporters had been hoping for. He has long been considered a favorite in South Carolina, and how he performed on the stage Tuesday night might go a long way to securing his victory this weekend. A huge win in South Carolina is almost a necessity for Biden if he hopes to gain ground on Sanders, but even that is no sure thing.

Bloomberg was again a huge loser on Tuesday night. Many have thought all along that once he was forced to actually enter the race — getting up on the debate stage and out of the fringes — that he’d crumble. And that’s exactly what’s happening.

Other Democratic candidates are calling Bloomberg out for his past record inside and outside of politics, and he has no real answer for it. Bloomberg may have billions of dollars to his name, but he has already found out that he can’t hide behind his expensive advertising campaign forever.

Pete Buttigieg performed relatively well at the debate, but he has seemed to fade into the background. Buttigieg was never really expected to do well in South Carolina, and other diverse states, and nothing he said Tuesday night changed that perception. If Buttigieg did one thing successfully, it was raise questions in voters’ minds about Sanders and what the country would look like if he were nominated.

Let’s see how this all plays out in South Carolina this weekend.