Despite the timely impeachment hearings, the Democratic presidential candidates’ mentions of President Trump by name (“Trump” or “Donald”) dropped by 40% from the October debate, perhaps an indication that the candidates are focusing on distinguishing themselves from others on the stage as opposed to the president.
Despite the lower overall mentions, each candidate on the stage last night mentioned the sitting president by name at least once.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) mentioned Trump the most of all candidates last night – nine times. Just two months ago, in the September debate, Buttigieg mentioned Trump the least of all candidates. Is this a new strategy to demonstrate Buttigieg’s readiness to spar with Trump?
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is a consistent Trump talker. Of all the candidates, Harris mentioned the president the most in the September and October debates, and had the second-highest mentions – tied with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – last night.