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ESSENCE Poll: Did the Democratic Debate Topics Speak to Your Situation?

Democratic candidates went head-to-head in last night's first debate. Do you feel that the topics spoke directly to your situation? 
ESSENCE Poll: Did the Democratic Debate Topics Speak to Your Situation?
Getty Images/ Joe Raedle

The first Democratic debate took place Tuesday night and it was much more eventful than many predicted.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders stood out amongst the crowd, while Gov. Martin O’Mally, Sen. Jim Webb and Sen. Lincoln Chafee fought to have their voices heard. 

But perhaps one of the more pertinent questions of the evening was, when it comes to some of the most pressing issues Black people face today, are the candidates tuned in? 

Their positions became more evident when candidates were asked if “Black Lives Matter or do all lives matter?”

Sanders delivered the most well thought out answer saying, “The reason those words matter is the African-American community knows that on any given day, some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car and then three days later she’s going to end up dead in jail, or their kids are going to get shot,” Sanders said. “We need to combat institutional racism, from top to bottom, and we need major, major reforms in a broken criminal justice system, in which we have more people in jail than China.”

Clinton added, “what we need to be doing is not only reforming criminal justice … including things like body cameras, but we also need to be following the recommendations of the commission that President Obama empaneled on policing. There is an agenda there that we need to be following up on,”

As things heat up, presidential hopefuls are trying to prove they’re on the same page as voters, but is that the case?

With hot topic issues such as income inequality, climate change, gun control, Planned Parenthood, Immigration and police reform being mentioned, do you feel like your concerns were addressed in last night’s Democratic debate? Sound off below.

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