It’s an odd debate when the top two candidates fighting for their party’s nomination claim the same moment as a victory.
But that’s what happened in Las Vegas, after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders interrupted a back-and-forth about Hillary Clinton’s email controversy to pronounce, “Americans are sick of hearing about your damn emails!”
For Clinton, the unexpected show of support from Sanders validated a sense that the overwhelming focus on her email is part of a right-wing conspiracy to tank her poll numbers. It was a welcome boost as she heads to testify in front of the Benghazi Committee next week, and a comment that effectively took the email issue off the table, if only temporarily. But Sanders’ team embraced the exchange as well: it put him at the center of one of the night’s stand-out moments as 15.3 million viewers watched.
Now, Sanders’ team is touting the debate as a victory expected to expand his audience, boost fundraising, and, most important, peel off Clinton supporters to his cause. Indeed, at a fundraiser in Hollywood on Wednesday, Sanders said he had raised $2.5 million since the debate.
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