The democratic presidential candidates will be hoping to gather momentum in tonight’s presidential debate co-hosted by CBS news and the Congressional Black Caucus, and the front-runner, Bernie Sanders, is undoubtedly going to come under fire after back-to-back wins in New Hampshire and Nevada.
Sanders can now legitimately claim to be the frontrunner in this race, having won a massive 27 of the 35 delegates available in Nevada and a 46.8% share of the popular vote. Joe Biden, who was once the apparent frontrunner, having served as Vice President under Barrack Obama, will be hoping to resonate with people of colour in South Carolina – a key demographic for his campaign. He finished second in Nevada, winning nine delegates and a little over 20% of the popular vote. A strong showing in the debate would likely see him regain some of his lost momentum and make his claim to be the top centrist candidate and the main opposition to Sanders’ grassroots political revolution.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, on the other hand, has under-performed since winning the majority of the delegates in the Iowa caucuses, only barely reaching the viability threshold with 14.3% of the votes in Nevada and a measly three delegates. However, if Buttigieg manages to avoid the attacks on his campaign that he faced after winning in Iowa, he might just be able to win some voters over in South Carolina. However, because Mayor Pete polls so poorly with people of colour, it would be unlikely.
Way behind those front three is Elizabeth Warren who didn’t win any delegates with her 9.7% of the Nevada votes, while Tom Steyer and Amy Klobuchar were left with 4.7 and 4.2%, respectively. None of the remaining candidates got above 1%.
However, another face on the debate stage will be billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, who will only be entering the race on Super Tuesday– 3 March– which will be the most telling day of the entire election. It’s a massive week ahead and when all is said and done, we may well have a clear idea of who will be taking on Donald Trump at the polling stations in November. Here’s how each of the top seven candidates are polling nationally, according to RealClearPolitics:
Sanders – 29.3%
Biden – 17.2%
Bloomberg – 15.3%
Warren – 13.2%
Buttigieg – 9.8%
Klobuchar – 6.3%
Tonight’s debate gets underway at 8pm EST (GMT-5)