General thoughts from debate 1, from a younger millennial/gen-z voter:
Standout performances by Castro and Warren. Klobuchar could well be the best candidate from a pure policy perspective, but had absolutely no charisma on the debate stage. Gabbard wasn't really on my radar prior to the debate, but she articulated her noninterventionist stance extremely well, and ended on a strong note when she took Tim Ryan apart towards the end. De Blasio went in with no expectations and overperformed--he's on the radar as a real candidate for the first time. Generally solid debate from Booker; no real ups or downs.
Really disappointing performance by Beto. He's a guy who I think could've been a decent candidate, but he's going to really need to step things up for next round. I don't think he was dead last--Tim Ryan takes the prize there after getting after Gabbard on military
From debate 2:
Buttigieg was really, really good. I think he handled questions on the police shooting in South Bend extremely tactfully, and in articulating policy plans, cleared up many of the criticisms that he's a Beto-lite running on charisma without a real platform. Kamala Harris was also pretty damn strong; I'm not sure if going after Biden was the right move longterm, but it definitely garnered the attention she needed.
Bernie and Biden were both awful. For Biden it's probably irrelevant--he's going to get half the boomers' votes regardless, and IMO isn't really a contender to pull a high percentage of young peoples' votes in the primaries. Bernie essentially stated that he'd use the presidency as a bludgeon, shoving poorly formed executive orders through without regard for consequence. I consider myself a progressive, but that man scares me--a lot.
I was disappointed in Yang. He's never been contending for president, but he wanted to get the concept of UBI out there, and bring a more serious discussion of tech/automation to the table, and completely blew his chance with both.
I'm kind of glad Gillibrand didn't make an impact. I don't think she's necessarily bad from a policy perspective, but I think Trump would sweep the rust belt against her in a general election.