Daily Video

December 20, 2019

Here’s what students had to say about the Democratic debate


Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the questions.

Yarel Ramos, John Polk, Julia Escobar, Josh Rush and Andre Tinoco..

Summary: Check out this post-debate youth panel produced by PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs (SRL) that followed Thursday night’s Democratic debate. The debate was hosted by the PBS NewsHour and Politico at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. The panel was moderated by Univision’s Yarel Ramos and featured John Polk, Julia Escobar, Josh Rush and Andre Tinoco.

Discussion questions:

  1. Focus question: How important is it to hear from young voters and youth not yet eligible to vote for president in 2020?

2. The youth panelists agreed overall that Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang had strong debate performances. Do you agree? Explain.

  • Optional: Check out Yang’s closing statement here, if you’re not as familiar with him as the other candidates. What do you know about Yang? Are there ideas here that resonate with you? All of the candidates’ closing remarks can be found here.

3. According to the panelists, one of the highlights of the debate occurred between Sen. Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg over campaign contributions, including holding fundraisers in “wine caves.” Watch the clip here. How do you feel about the issue of campaign contributions? Who do you think gave the better response and why?

4. Another exchange that caught the panel’s attention happened between Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden over health care. Watch the clip here. Who do you think made the stronger point? Explain.

  • Do you think there should be “Medicare for All” which would involve the government providing health care to all Americans? Explain.

5. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Buttigieg also traded barbs during the debate over experience and ability to win. Watch their exchange here. How important is experience in running for president? Who do you think made the stronger argument and why?

6. The youth panelists said they were disappointed that certain issues were not brought up, including gun control, indigenous rights, homelessness and housing. What issues would you like to have seen asked in the debate that were not addressed?

7. Media literacy: Check out PBS NewsHour’s highlights from the debate here. Be sure to check out at least three other news outlets’ (Huffington Post, CNN, Washington Post, Fox News, BuzzFeed, Democracy Now!, Wall Street Journal) coverage of the debate. What are the headlines? What exchanges between the candidates are discussed? Do you think the coverage was fair and balanced? Explain.

For monthly updates containing teacher resources on Election 2020, click here.

Sign up for short education highlights from the PBS NewsHour here.

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