Boulder County Democrats laughed, gasped, cheered and even briefly booed one of their home state candidates as they watched the second night of the Democratic primary debates Thursday at a watch party in Boulder.
“It was livelier than the first debate,” said Sandy Felte, who traveled to the Boulder Democratic Party's Headquarters from Lafayette to watch the action on a big screen. “I thought they jumped right to it, and that was a good thing.”
Former governor John Hickenlooper received the smattering of boos early in the debate when he said he brought Colorado’s environmental activists and the oil and gas industry together to reduce methane gas emissions.
One man in the audience yelled “bull----” when Hickenlooper made the statement.
Hickenlooper’s performance also didn’t win over undecided Boulder County voter Karen LeCuyer.
“I thought (Colorado Senator) Michael Bennet did fairly well, and Hickenlooper, so so,” she said after the two hour debate. “I guess I feel like Hickenlooper has been on the line too many times. And President Trump has really turned our government very much into partisan things.”
LeCuyer suggested Hickenlooper’s pitches of bipartisanship and his focus on bringing people together wouldn’t be enough to defeat Trump.
“It’s nice to say ‘gee we all ought to be good friends and we can all get together.' Maybe that was true a couple of years ago, but I don’t think that’s true with what Trump has done now,” she said. “We need someone who is really willing to get out there and fight.”
LeCuyer praised the debate performances from former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
A straw poll revealed most of the 70 Democrats at the watch party thought Senator Harris was having the best night on the debate stage.
Harris made national headlines during the debate for her clash with Biden over racial issues.
“She can really debate,” Felte said. “She doesn’t back down.”
But Felte and LeCuyer said they thought Biden delivered a better performance than they were expecting.
And they both left the event undecided about which candidate is their favorite.
The candidates weighed in on several issues ranging from gun control to climate change.
Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Eleven public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.