So far this Democratic campaign, the debates have been a real snooze-fest, but not last night's brawl in Brooklyn.
Both candidates came for a fight, both candidate were well versed in their issues, and both scored their points and both took and landed a few jabs.
This is good for the Democratic Party. Whoever wins the nomination is going to face a tough, vicious opponent, and they need to toughen up their debating skills to get ready for the general election.
Having several points where the moderator had to tell the candidates to stop trying to shout each other down was encouraging, and it will serve them well in the general election when facing the Republicans who have spent the primary season in nothing short of brawl-style debating.
But there's a clear problem brewing, evident by the rancorous behavior of each candidate's supporters, willing to try to shout down the opponents and cheer on their own candidate.
The Democrats have a schism. While it may not be as bad as the Republican's schism in 2016, it's still a problem -- can the party heal and unite after the primary?
The Democratic far-left has taken the back-burner on most of their core issues for decades, patiently waiting for their issues to be advanced, without significant belief that Clinton will invite them into her fold. She is going to have a hard time winning them over.
Sanders definitely scored key points during the debate, highlighting Clinton's foreign policy weaknesses, including her support of the Iraq War, and lack of planning in Libya. He also continued his standard campaigning on money and the disparity of wealth in America.
Clinton fought back, including landing some solid jabs on Sanders' entire platform. She stated that it's pretty easy to diagnose a problem in politics; it's much harder to implement real effective change --especially within a hostile Congress.
This has been one of Sanders' weaknesses from the beginning with those well-entrenched in politics. It's one thing to know that you want to change things, and have a platform of changing things, but it often winds up being just a long list of unfulfilled campaign promises if you cannot advance your platform and agenda through Congress.
Clinton has held steady for months in the 52-57 percent range in New York's primary polls; we'll see how the post debate polls come out, and how the residents of New York scored the debate.
Sanders has to narrow the gap to a slim loss (or even hopefully a slim lead) to remain viable and keep on pace to being able to go the distance. A blow-out victory by Clinton could derail his efforts -- there are too many pledged delegates up for grabs in New York.
He still has many large Democratic stronghold states left to compete in, though the upcoming battles are all closed primaries, something he tends to not do as well in because of his support from independents.
In the end, Clinton may have won the debate -- it's hard to really tell -- but she didn't win over Sanders' supporters and bridge any gaps. With the Democratic battle going all the way to the convention, the nominee will have only a few short months to unify the party after a pretty bitter (for modern Democrats) primary season.
Photo retrieved from TIME.com