The latest round of Democratic debates highlighted the divisions that exist within the party.

On Tuesday night, much of the CNN debate was dominated by healthcare and the economy with moderate candidates criticising the progressive, liberal policies of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

They were accused of engaging in "wish-list economics" that would increase taxes on the middle classes. 

Sanders and Warren both fought back with robust defences of their policies attracting some of the loudest cheers of the night.

It was a reminder of the split between the liberal, progressive wing of the Democratic party and the more moderate, centrist wing.

There were divisions of a different kind in last night's debate.

During the previous Democratic debate in June, former Vice President Joe Biden clashed with one of his main rivals Senator Kamala Harris and as last night's debate got underway he said to her "go easy on me kid."

But there was nothing easy about.

Senator Harris and other candidates like Senator Cory Booker attacked the front runner over his record on immigration, criminal justice reform and racial equality. 

Joe Biden stumbled at times but he also fought back, criticising Kamala Harris’ healthcare plan and Cory Booker’s time as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

Twenty candidates debated over the last two nights but that number is expected to be halved over the coming weeks.

If they cannot meet fundraising and polling targets, many of those in the running will be blocked from taking part in the next debate in September.

Candidates will need to have 130,000 unique donors and have achieved at least 2% support in four opinion polls.

Those figures are double what was required for the last debates.

Right now, just seven candidates have qualified: former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg.

Three other candidates are close to reaching the targets: Julián Castro, Andrew Yang and Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Democratic hopefuls will have until the end of this month to reach the threshold required.

Many will be hoping their performances in these latest debates will give them a boost but most are unlikely to make the cut.

A smaller field of candidates will change the dynamic of future debates. 

There will be more time for speakers to explain their policies and more time to attack their opponents.

But Democrats need to tread carefully, tearing each other apart and highlighting divisions play into the hands of Donald Trump. 

The US President was criticised over the course of the last two nights but not half as much as many would have expected.

After every debate there are discussions about who won on the night. 

If Democrats are not careful that title will go to someone who was not even there, Donald Trump.