By Brendan Burke, Copy Editor

This Tuesday, CNN and the Des Moines Register hosted the seventh Democratic debate before the Iowa caucus on Feb. 3. Not only was this the smallest debate stage with only six candidates taking the stage, it was the last time the front runners had a chance to have a shining moment before the importance of the Iowa caucus sets in. 

This debate was the best one of the entire campaign trail due to the fact that the only nominees on stage were former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and businessman Tom Steyer. With this small field, actual debate was achieved and some clear candidates came out as strong politicians right before Iowa.

Any reader can go to CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal if they would like to see who the professional publications considered the winners and losers for the debate. Since this is a high school publication, below you will find the winners and losers in the eyes of a high schooler who wants nothing more than corruption to end and have politicians that will solve issues that have majorly impacted our generation. Without further ado, here are the winners and losers of Tuesday’s debate.

Winner #1: Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts senator has always been known to have a strong performance on a debate stage, and Tuesday night was definitely not an exception. Warren was able to handle the most controversial of questions in a professional manner while also making her qualifications for the presidency clear. When she made the remark about how the only people on stage who won every election that they have ran in were the two women, Warren made headlines for days. Despite showing the power of women in government, Warren was also able to show the efficiency and logic to her plans on foreign affairs, universal child care and climate change.

One drawback Warren had after the debate was the outrage from Sanders supporters who fled to Twitter with #neverWarren after she claimed Sanders disagreed with the fact that a woman could be President of the United States. The situation is “he said, she said” but Warren made her point clear: she is a woman who threw an incumbent Republican out of office during her first election that wants nothing more than to end corruption in Washington politics. With the most speaking time at 18 minutes and 59 seconds, Warren may have just gotten the push she needed to win the Iowa caucus.

Winner #2: Amy Klobuchar

Despite a few mixups and embarrassing moments for the Minnesota senator, Klobuchar did a nice job of meeting her goal: getting voters to see why they should support her instead of Biden and Buttigieg. Klobuchar is one of the last moderates in the field and she needed a performance well done right before the Iowa caucus. Klobuchar and Warren worked together in Tuesday’s debate for the first time ever because they want nothing more than to break the glass ceiling.

On top of fighting for the equal message of women in politics, Klobuchar was able to prove to the country that Sanders’ Medicare for all plan would kick millions of Americans off of their insurance and nevertheless go against the fairness Democrats fight for. She also had one of the night’s most emotional moments when talking about the effects of Trump’s trade war with China is having. With 17 minutes and 37 seconds of speaking time, Klobuchar made herself a known candidate right before Iowa.

Loser #1: Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator went into this debate with a great thing going for him: he was leading in most of the recent Iowa polls. However, the bad press he had going in for Warren claiming that he does not think a woman can be president really injured his credibility and trust among voters. The best thing Sanders did at the debate was prove he could do math when it comes to the one time he threw an incumbent Republican out of office. 

Another large issue that hurt Sanders was something that everyone already knew about: his age. On the debate stage, he was constantly asking the moderators to repeat themselves and needing repeated responses everytime a fellow nominee addressed him. Age is not something that should decide an election; however, Sanders proved to America that he may not be the nominee we can trust when choosing a healthy, fit-for-the-job president. With a small 17 minutes and 41 seconds of speaking time, Sanders did not prove anything else to the American people other than his skills to do math. Heck, he did a better job at the debate that took place a week after he had a heart attack.

Loser #2: Tom Steyer

Not much can be said in regards to the performance done by Steyer on Tuesday night other than the fact that it was mediocre. To put it simply, Steyer has always been the candidate that was just there to fill space. I never thought that he would make this far in the debate cycle due to the fact that he consistently has small speaking times and never brings forward unique points. To be fair, this last debate was the best of Steyer’s performances, and it did not make his campaign any more appealing. 

Steyer showed America that he is the only candidate who has a campaign based on climate change — even though the moderators caught him dead in his tracks by saying that most of his fortune was made for investing in coal, oil and other fossil fuels. He also proved that he does not understand the first thing about foreign affairs because he claimed he should be commander-in-chief for the sole reason that he has traveled internationally. With the shortest amount of speaking time at 12 minutes and 26 seconds, Steyer gave a laughable performance.

After that analysis, it will be interesting to see who is going to take the win at the Iowa caucus in two weeks. Stay tuned for Prospector Political Publish Week #11 where the topic of the impeachment trial and the new found information on Iran’s retaliation attack will be discussed at greater length.