Okay, its time to do a review of the Democratic Debate on CNN Sunday. Here is how the scores are determined. Everytime a candidate says the right thing (i.e. something I agree with) he gets a check in the “Right” column. Everytime something wrong is said, a check in the “Wrong” column. Also, everytime there is an attempt to spin or dodge the question, there was a check in the “Dodge” column. In addition to totals for the entire debate, the answers were broken down by subject matter as well.
The subject headings used were: War, Immigration, Environment, Healthcare,Domestic Issues, Foreign Affairs, and Economy. The percentages are a bit misleading because some candidates may not have mentioned a topic at all while others may have harped on the same subject over and over. (I.e. you could get five check marks on Economy good, bad, or dodge, but never mention Environment at all.) All of the stats are available here, but here are some interesting results.
All candidates combined answered the majority of the questions right.
The top three spin-masters:
38.5% Hillary Clinton
20.0% Barrack Obama
13.3% Chris Dodd
It follows that the spinners were also most often wrong:
30.8% Hillary Clinton
30.0% Barrack Obama
26.7% Chris Dodd
The big surprise was who most often chose the right answers:
95.5% Dennis Kucinich
87.5% Mike Gravel
76.0% John Edwards
The biggest shock for me was how out of 179 total comments by all candidates only 4 times was the environment mentioned. Maybe everyone assumed it is a foregone conclusion that environmental issues are important and felt there was not much to differentiate themselves from the others.
Immigration was another disappointing area as nobody said the right thing more than Bill Richardson and he was only right 50% of the time. As a whole, the candidates got immigration right only 21.4% of the time. Lots of talk about silly fences and no real meat about the issue.
This report card is NOT who I think would be the best candidate from the bunch… it is a grade based on how they handled the issues brought up.
EDIT: Of the candidates witha chance to win, John Edwards was the clear winner.