Donald Trump was the Real Loser of the Democratic Debate

October 14th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

In the hours leading up to Tuesday's Democratic debate, there was a lot of buzz about a presidential candidate who wouldn't even be attending the Las Vegas event: Republican front runner Donald Trump.

Trump generated early chatter by announcing that he would live tweet the Democratic debate. And for some, his live commentary of the debate on Twitter received more attention than the debate itself. But the truth is, the real estate mogul did not garner as much attention as anticipated—at least not where it counted. Trump received only cursory recognition on the debate stage.

His name was invoked just three times during the debate.

The first time Trump's name was mentioned was when the moderator referenced a past comment by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who said "I'm not in favor of making college free for Donald Trump's kids."

Responding to the question, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said "let me tell you, Donald Trump and his billionaire friends under my policies are going to pay a hell of a lot more in taxes today—taxes in the future than they're paying today."

And the final explicit mention of Trump came from former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who described him as a "xenophobe," "immigrant hater," and "that carnival barker in the Republican party."

All in all, Trump did not have the night in Vegas that he expected. CNN, which hosted the debate, published two articles about Trump's attempt to "rain on the Democrats' parade" and steal the spotlight. Though his Twitter feed was certainly a point of interest, it was by no means the main attraction he suggested it would be. Trump mainly retweeted supporters (as evidenced below) and added little actual commentary.

"Sorry, there is no STAR on the stage tonight!" Trump wrote. If by "star," he meant himself, Trump would be right. There was no "star," and that's because the Democratic debate focused on the issues and not the celebrity of the Republican candidate. O'Malley reflected upon this point during his closing speech.

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"On this stage, you didn't hear anyone denigrate women, you didn't hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants, you didn't hear anyone speak ill of another American because of their religious belief," O'Malley said. "What you heard instead on this stage tonight was an honest search for the answers that will move our country forward."