How did the Democratic candidates do in their first debates? We rated them.

• Earnest, but a little too cerebral. All head and no heart. And he got backed into a corner by Julian Castro on the immigration issue and seemed to lose his footing. He was one of three candidates who spoke in Spanish, which is not that unusual to a Florida audience but received a lot of national media attention.

• Bilingual Beto shook things up when he burst into his rough Spanish in answering his first question. Some may have liked it, others may have seen it as pandering to the Miami audience. Either way, it was downhill from there. Castro clocked him on immigration policy, giving him a lesson on the finer points of the law. De Blasio decked him good on why private health insurance is a failure for most Americans. O’Rourke started strong in this race, but the former Texas congressman seems to be losing his mojo. His next job may be U.S. ambassador to Mexico, but he’ll need to practice his Spanish.

• Sorry, Beto, but when you jumped out of the gate speaking Spanish, for no apparent reason, it was a struggle to look at you seriously the rest of the night. Especially when Castro cleaned your clock on immigration. I know your statements were heart-felt, but it looked like you were trying too hard.

• Not the best night for him, and Castro really went at him

• He was seen by some as the No. 2 candidate of the first night’s debate — going in, but not on the way out. Good that he was able to speak in Spanish during the debate, bad that he dodged questions enough that he was called out by moderators more than once. One measure: after the debate he came to the spin room for an interview on MSNBC, a host for the debate. But he raced in and out, refusing to answer questions from other reporters.

• He had his positions staked out, but he didn’t appear presidential. He was shaky in talking about tax rates and too quick to speak in Spanish, though the debate was televised on Telemundo. Lacking the breakout performance he needed, he dropped back in the pack.

• O’Rourke, once hailed as a potential front-runner, didn’t do what he needed to do to re-energize his campaign. He came across as ducking a question on raising the top tax rate to 70 percent. He didn’t seem in control when challenged by Castro on immigration, who chided him for not doing his “homework” on the issue.

• The once-leading candidate seemed once again to be middle of the pack. He wasn’t among the worst in the debate, he wasn’t among the best, but with so many candidates that’s not enough.

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