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What viewers really thought: Election Confessions from the first Democratic debate

"I so wanted to like him," "I don't want to be pandered to!" and more from Night One and Night Two.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; Getty Images

Tears were shed, minds were changed and impressions were made as millions of viewers tuned into the first Democratic presidential debate.

The viewers who took to NBC News' Election Confessions wrote close to 3,000 confessions, putting their inner voice on display. Some confessed that a candidate didn't quite meet their mark ("...Won’t vote for her, but might donate to keep her around to speak more,"), others confessed to giving up on their previous pick ("He was my front-runner. Now I am thinking that ship has sailed.").

Of the Night One candidates, Elizabeth Warren received the most confessions. On Night Two, Joe Biden did. Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders also inspired viewers to write. John Hickenlooper received the fewest.

Here are some noteworthy confessions made on each of the Democratic candidates in the first 2020 presidential primary debate (want to see all the debate confessions? Scroll to the bottom). Candidates are listed alphabetically and grouped by debate night. Have a confession you want to make? Election Confessions runs through the 2020 election, so start writing your confession here.

Sen. Cory Booker

"You made the most sense to me, I hope you get a VP nod!!"
"Booker is currently leading the bunch for me. Not only does he knows what he is saying, but he seems more relatable than the rest."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

"I had known nothing about him coming in and was thoroughly impressed."
"Surprised and impressed with his answers and vision. A little awkward but liked his fighting spirit."

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro

"Seeing a candidate use immigrants' names (Oscar and Valeria) in a debate is invigorating. Personifying them in this time is a need"
"Was not expecting him to be as strong of a candidate and orator as this debate is proving him to be. He has my vote."

Former Rep. John Delaney

"Impressed by his common sense and moderate views. He may be someone who can bring the country together. Needs more time to speak."
"Didn't know who he was until tonight. So far, IMHO, he’s won the debate tonight. He “gets it” for most Americans."

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

"She is the first presidential candidate who I’m passionate about. I’ve never donated to a campaign before her. ALOHA!"
"You have impressed me with your military service."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

"I confess that I didn't know about you before today... but i'm liking what I hear."
"Inslee did better than I thought he would in the debate. He has more substance than he's let on."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar confession
"Klobuchar is killing it on the debate stage - I wish people would see how much more reality based she is and give her due respect."

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke

"If he doesn't become the Democratic Party nominee, I hope whoever is the nominee, selects him as the running mate."
"I so wanted to like him and I do, but he's just not ready yet. He has a good and sensitive soul, I can tell. He can't beat Trump."

Rep. Tim Ryan

“"We are not connecting to the working class people." FACT CHECK = TRUE”
"His message about the middle class is spot-on, and I liked his intensity. Not sold yet."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

"As extreme as she is, Elizabeth Warren brought me to tears with her passion for the people in this country."
"I want to be like Elizabeth Warren when I grow up. I'm almost 35."

Sen. Michael Bennet

"Serious dude who would destroy Trump in a debate."
"Who is this guy? I liked what he said! Need to know more!"

Former Vice President Joe Biden

"Biden is (sadly) no longer my favorite, but I can't help but fear he is the only one who could beat Trump."
"I like Joe. He sounds like, "would you just vote for me so we can get this done!""

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

"As a millennial gay man, I refused to support Pete only because he is a Millennial gay man as well. Tonight he has my vote."
"I'm not normally a voter but, despite Mayor Pete being too middle of the road, his honesty, decency, & smarts won me over tonight."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

"I will vote for her in the primary but I don't think this is her time."
""Women and the men who love them"... especially in front of Rachel Maddow? Really? How about "Women and the PEOPLE who love them"?"

Sen. Kamala Harris

"Wow! I'm loving her. I'd love to see her partnered up with Buttigieg!"
"I supported Hillary Clinton with all heart, tonight Kamala proved to me she is Hillary 2.0 and this is a GOOD thing."

Gov. John Hickenlooper

"He could have my vote - if we could legalize weed all across the US. I mean...Canada did it."
"Never heard of him before tonight, but I rather liked him."

Sen. Bernie Sanders

"He's the only politician I have ever trusted.	"
"Love Bernie, backed him in 2016, but he needs to vary up his talking-points (be less predictable), and come up with better answers"

Rep. Eric Swalwell

"LOVE his zingers. Managed to absolutely DRAG Bernie and Biden, and brings much needed humor to an otherwise unpalatable debate."
"I want him to host a podcast."

Author Marianne Williamson

"I want to hate her spiritual mumbo jumbo but she surprised me with her poise and valid, albeit off topic, points"
"I kept expecting Marianne Williamson to pull out healing crystals or a divination tool. Cringe worthy moments from her."

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

"There seems to be no hole in his reasoning. My new favorite candidate!"
"I know he doesn't have a chance but I feel he's still the best candidate"

Election Confessions from the first Democratic debate

Read NBC News' complete coverage of the first Democratic debates, see the full Election Confessions, read the Night Two debate live blog.