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Debate Fact Check: What Are They Talking About, and Is It True?

The second round of Democratic debates is underway in Detroit, with 10 candidates onstage for the first of two back-to-back nights. The other 10 candidates who qualified for the debates will appear on the same stage on Wednesday.

Our reporters are following all of the exchanges. They will be fact-checking the candidates and providing context and explanation for the policy debates.

what the facts are

What Mr. Hickenlooper said:

“Last year Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the house and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front-runners at center stage.”

This is exaggerated. Mr. Hickenlooper was referring to Medicare for All, the progressive plan for universal health care. Many of the seats Democrats flipped in taking control of the House in 2018 were in swing districts, or districts carried by President Trump; most of the freshmen who won those seats are centrists and do not support Medicare for All. But at least two of them — Representatives Katie Porter and Katie Hill of California — do, and campaigned on it. Both signed onto Medicare for All legislation in the House.

In 2017, Ms. Porter said on Twitter: “I believe in universal coverage and I support Medicare for All.”

Ms. Hill’s campaign posted a video on Facebook explaining her reasoning for backing Medicare for All, describing how she and her husband, Kenny, faced $200,000 in medical expenses early in their marriage. “Ensuring progress on health care is one of the top priorities for me as the issue hits extremely close to home and we have to do whatever it takes to get us to Medicare For All as soon as possible.”


What Mr. Hickenlooper said:

“I learned the small business lessons of how to provide service and team work and became a top mayor and as governor of Colorado created the number one economy in the country.”

This is false. According to the latest federal government data, at the end of Mr. Hickenlooper’s last term as governor in 2018, Colorado’s economy ranked 7th in the country when measured by real gross domestic product growth. Measured on a per person basis, the state’s real GDP growth was ranked 15th.

Fact checks by Alan Rappeport and Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

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