Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park'

Opinion by: Krystal Ball

Last night was make or break for Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead MORE and he absolutely hit it out of the park. He came in, he was feisty, he was fired up, he was the voice of moral clarity — in particular on the Democratic Party, whether they have the guts to do the big things that are really necessary to challenge the corporate interests and the special interests in this country.

He also had a sense of humor. He joked about medical marijuana, he was able to brush easily questions about his health. I think that will basically be put behind him at this point because he was so vigorous and effective last night. I would say this is the best debate performance that he’s had not only this election cycle but over the course of his presidential campaigning career. He really was on top of it.

But it doesn’t end there. Also now getting a clear picture of where every single candidate stands in terms of their fundraising, and once again, Bernie Sanders is on top of the heap. Not only did he he out-raise all of his competitors in Q3 but he sits on $33 million dollars cash-on-hand — a full $8 million more than the closest competitor Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Krystal Ball rips Warren's 'passive-aggressive' swipes at rivals MORE.

Meanwhile, Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers MORE, he has plummeted to just under $9 million cash on hand. He’s in a very dangerous position, so this matters a great deal. We also have new numbers out from the Sanders campaign just from yesterday. Yesterday alone, they raised $620,000 from 40,000 different individual contributors. They’re the only campaign who has more individual contributors than Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE, so they’re going to be touting that and it’s a very important metric.

Adding to his big comeback week, we learned last night through reporting through the Washington Post and also confirmed here on our own show with senior advisor Chuck Rocha, that this weekend AOC will be backing Bernie Sanders. He’s also picked up two other members of the squad — Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIlhan Omar responds to 'Conservative Squad': 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' Biden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIlhan Omar responds to 'Conservative Squad': 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers Biden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll MORE.