At tonight’s debate we saw the mantle of Democratic frontrunner pass from former Vice President Joe Biden to Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Now conservatives will watch closely to see if the national media asks Warren the tough questions that, to date, she’s largely avoided.
During the debate, there was a notable pattern of lower-polling candidates turning their fire toward Warren, after striking at Biden in earlier debates. Biden's candidacy has clearly been wounded by scrutiny around such issues as accusations from women of inappropriate touching and his son's business practices abroad.
So far, Warren has generally breezed by with neutral or favorable media coverage, including a fawning, highly produced New York Times profile on "How to Get a Selfie With Elizabeth Warren in 8 Steps."
In the days and weeks ahead, will the media point out that the agency Warren touted tonight onstage — her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — was shown in a report from the Government Accountability Office to be troubled by complaints of internal racism and anti-woman bias?
Will the media press Warren on her support for offering government health care to undocumented immigrants, even though national polling shows that 58% of Americans oppose this policy and just 38% support it?
Will the media ask Warren why she endorsed Julián Castro’s proposal to decriminalize border crossings, even though 66% of Americans reject this idea?
Asking Warren and other Democrats tougher questions will help the national media rebuild its eroding trust among Republicans and conservatives.