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The winner of the first Democratic debate: Donald Trump

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MIAMI — President Donald Trump was the big winner of the first 2020 Democratic debate.
The Republican commander in chief, who was on his way to an economic summit in Osaka, Japan, emerged from the scrap largely unscathed — barely mentioned at all — even though he is a uniquely antagonizing and energizing force for Democratic voters.
At the same time, the 10 candidates who were in the room here at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts often competed against one another to appeal to narrow subsets of the primary season electorate. Their jockeying, punctuated by efforts to outflank each other to the political left and conduct a middebate Spanish-speaking contest, could alienate swing voters important to the party’s chances against Trump in November 2020.
For long stretches, it seemed, they completely forgot about the man who has been at the center of pretty much every discussion among Democrats for the last two-plus years — the man they’re competing to take on next year. The obvious reason: The motivation to beat each other was, on this night, more urgent than defeating Trump — a life-or-death moment for some of their campaigns.

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