Sunday was the Democrats' turn in the debate spotlight. The setting was indeed newsworthy. The host city for the CNN debate was Flint, Mich., where residents continue to deal with a toxic water crisis. The two candidates, Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both have spoken about challenges in Flint, and issues of racial and economic fairness and accountability of government.
After splitting wins on Saturday, and before Tuesday's primaries, how did they do? Several Democratic-leaning analysts who weighed in favored Clinton:
Focus on environmental injustice: "The Democrats' focus tonight on the environmental injustice happening in Flint stands in stark contrast to the substance-free Republican debate in Detroit last week. While there are plenty of contests to go, it's undeniable that Hillary Clinton is leading the Democratic race and is likely to be the nominee. Clinton's debate performance tonight only reaffirmed that reality."
— Deirdre Murphy Ramsey, former National Press Secretary for the DSCC
Democratic debates are the only programming on television louder than the commercials.— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) March 7, 2016
Flint in the spotlight: "Flint was rightfully in the spotlight tonight and they were the biggest winners because they secured commitments from both candidates to hold those responsible accountable, to remedy and address the remaining problems, and to fix the fundamental causes of this problem in communities across the country.
— Adrianne Marsh is a Democratic strategist and a native of the Flint area No debate winner; campaign about delegates: "Sanders wins caucuses. Hillary adds to her net margin in delegate totals. No winner in debate. In a campaign ultimately about winning delegates, this is a winning weekend for Clinton."
— Rick Ridder, a former Democratic presidential campaign manager
HRC hammering away on saving the auto industry. She knows when she has a winning message. — Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) March 7, 2016
Is the window closing?: " Senator Sanders went after Hillary harder than he has in previous debates in part because he knows the window is closing on the race. However, at times he became a tad patronizing, with his interruptions, and talking over Hillary, and that may well do him more harm than good."
— Neera Tanden of Center for American Progress, who says she supports Clinton No name-calling: "Despite the curious lack of hand-size bragging and name calling, Hillary Clinton once more proved she's the only one strong enough to beat the Republicans in November. We're confident that voters in Michigan and across the country will continue to see she’s the best candidate to raise wages, break barriers, and protect our country."
— Spokesman for Priorities USA action, a group that backs Clinton More of the same: “The debate in Flint showcased an out-of-touch race to the extreme left. With the subject of an FBI investigation and a self-declared socialist touting policies that have been proven failures, it’s no surprise Democrat voters are staying home this primary season. After eight years of President Obama’s failed policies, voters want a change in direction and are turning out in record numbers to vote Republican. Only our candidates offer the change our country desperately needs, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders offer more of the same."
-- RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
The #DemDebate in Flint showcased an out-of-touch race to the extreme left between Clinton & Sanders— Reince Priebus (@Reince) March 7, 2016
A stark contrast: “Throughout this campaign, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have shown they have the right priorities – priorities that match the values, hopes and dreams of the American people, including in Flint and communities like it across the country."
"It’s a stark contrast from what we saw when the Republican candidates embarrassed themselves at their Detroit debate just three nights ago and disrespected the people of Flint by barely acknowledging the water crisis."
-- DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
A plea: If you're watching "Downton Abbey" instead of debate, please, please don't tweet spoilers to torment those of us who are working. — Walter Shapiro (@MrWalterShapiro) March 7, 2016
Simone Pathé, Eric Garcia, Alex Roarty and Mary C. Curtis compiled this report.