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Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren walked away with the most speaking time during the third Democratic debate

The two rivals finally faced off against one another on the same stage.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had the most speaking time during the third Presidential primary debate.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

In their first time onstage together, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren largely dominated speaking time during Thursday’s debate.

According to an analysis by The Washington Post, Biden spoke the most at the Democrats’ third showdown, coming in at 17.4 minutes, followed closely by Warren, who spoke for 16.5 minutes.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, was in a slightly less talkative tier (coming in at 14.1 minutes) with two other candidates pushing to break into double-digit polling — Sen. Cory Booker, who came in third at 14.7 minutes, and Sen. Kamala Harris, who spoke for 13.7 minutes.

As a whole, the spread of the debate was decently balanced, with most candidates taking the opportunity to chime in on a wide range of subjects. (Since this debate was slightly longer than the previous two, it’s possible this extra time helped give different candidates a bit more time.)

Thursday’s set-up also made for some notable interactions: Warren, Biden, and Sanders, who have pulled ahead of the rest of the Democratic field, finally had the opportunity to spar with one another. They faced off on a series of policies, including Medicare-for-all and assault weapon buybacks, in the course of the three-hour event, and earned some of the most speaking time.

As the candidate consistently leading the polls, Biden was also a central focus of both moderators’ questions and pressure from some of his competitors during the Thursday debate at Texas Southern University. Warren’s presence onstage also spoke to the momentum she’s picked up in recent polls and the leadership she’s established across a number of policy areas ranging from her detailed plans on universal pre-k to housing.

Booker and Harris haven’t been polling quite as high, but both also sought to capitalize on the event to further establish themselves.

Booker’s speaking time was perhaps the most noteworthy given his ranking in the polls — and captured some of the more extensive responses he gave on questions related to criminal justice reform and charter schools.

Across gender lines, women candidates spoke more than men on average — a sign of how dominant both Warren and Harris’s candidacies continue to be. Women candidates, on average, spoke 13.5 minutes each, while men spoke for 12.3 minutes each.

As was the case with both debates in July and August, women candidates spoke less than men overall because there were so many more male candidates onstage. In total, men spoke for 85.8 minutes compared to women, who spoke for 40.6 minutes.