UPDATE 10:50 P.M. EST — Saturday's night Democratic debate had a few notable moments, from former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's ageist barb to a brief disappearance by former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton following a commercial debate. Check out the top moments, memes and reactions from Twitter below, including Clinton's parting words.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 20, 2015
— POLITICO (@politico) December 20, 2015
— Truthdig (@Truthdig) December 20, 2015
Saying that this debate was smarter than GOP debates sort of like saying that I can beat a vegan at a hotdog eating competition #DemDebate
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) December 20, 2015
UPDATE 10:25 P.M. EST — The conversation turned briefly to taxes Saturday night at New Hampshire's St. Anshelm College. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged that she would not raise taxes for middle class families, or those earning less than $250,000 a year, but would require the wealthy to pay higher tax rates. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said that taxes would have to increase, in order to pay for benefits like family leave or a single-payer healthcare system.
UPDATE 9:55 P.M. EST — Saturday's Democratic debate gained energy and momentum as it progressed from Trump to Wall Street and corporate America. There was also a brief disappearance by Clinton following a commercial break.
— Andrew M. Seaman (@andrewmseaman) December 20, 2015
Hillary was actually offstage googling "ISIS + Trump + recruitment video"
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) December 20, 2015
Best unscripted moment so far https://t.co/9EcRbCngWs
— deborah amos (@deborahamos) December 20, 2015
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 20, 2015
UPDATE: 9:00 p.m. EST — It was only a matter of minutes before all three Democratic candidates had laid to rest the question of the data breach. Moderator David Muir asked Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders about his staffers' accessing, through a computer glitch, voter data belonging to the campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The revelations caused a stir and a brief spat among the Democratic National Convention and the two campaigns Friday.
After briefly telling his side of the story, Sanders, prompted by Muir, tersely apologized to Clinton, who accepted. When his turn came, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley jumped in too, slamming the focus on supoosedly frivolous topics like data breaches.
O'Malley: (re: the data breach) pic.twitter.com/iSRvM3BQ7Q
— Fa La La La Latino (@DiscreetLatino) December 20, 2015
— Lauren Gambino (@LGamGam) December 20, 2015
Then, they moved on, to topics like gun control.
Sanders to O'Malley on gun control policies. pic.twitter.com/ShCKPv3etV
— Carlos F. McKnight (@CarlosFMcKnight) December 20, 2015
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 20, 2015
Twitterati began reacting even before Saturday's Democratic presidential debate had even gotten started. Hosted by ABC in Manchester, New Hampshire, one of the key early-voting states, the debate promised to be an unusually tense one, given a spat that had been resolved — somewhat — only Saturday morning.
The campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged Friday that a staff member had improperly accessed proprietary voter information belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has for months been criticized for using a personal address to handle work-related email during her tenure as secretary. Sanders had previously defended Clinton when it came to her email controversy, urging voters and the media to move on from the topic. After the DNC revoked Sanders' access to voter data, the Clinton campaign said it supported returning that access to him.
All of this, of course, is perfect fodder for Twitter, as were factors like the scheduling of the debate for the Saturday before Christmas and the continuously low levels of support for Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor and the third candidate to take the stage Saturday night.
Prior to the debate, Clinton had 55.9 percent national support, according to an analysis compiled by RealClearPolitics. Sanders had 31.3 percent and O'Malley just 3 percent support. Sanders has been polling well in Iowa and New Hampshire, the crucial early-voting states, with 39 percent to Clinton's 48 percent in Iowa and even beating Clinton 48 percent to 43.8 percent in New Hampshire.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll published Friday showed that 59 percent of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents supported Clinton, 28 percent Sanders and 5 percent O'Malley.
Scroll down for some of the best reactions, memes, analysis and quips from Twitter and beyond throughout this debate.
— Michael A Nöthem (@mikandynothem) December 19, 2015
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 18, 2015
In tonight's performance of "Democratic Debate," the role of "third candidate" will be played by Killer Mike instead of Martin O'Malley.
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) December 20, 2015
— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) December 19, 2015
Rubio fundraising off of Dem data breach (both yes & no direct to $$ page) pic.twitter.com/nXnMHx9VL5
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) December 20, 2015