Over the course of the six Democratic debates so far, some patterns have emerged in candidate talk time.
The October and November debates saw a steady cluster of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Vice President Joe Biden, and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg taking the lead in words spoken over the other candidates. But last night’s debate stopped that trend in its tracks. In an unforeseen breakaway, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) rocketed to top talker for the December debate.
Despite not having made the top three for any of the prior debates, Klobuchar got in 3,439 words—a 118% increase from the July debate, where she spoke the least. And the words she spoke mattered—several news outlets, including CNN, The New York Times and POLITICO, deemed her a debate winner.
Could this indicate a change in the tide on the eve of the first primaries? We’ll continue to watch.