Viewers can watch the final 2015 Democratic presidential debate live online and see what might be the last chance for Bernie Sanders to take a chunk out of front runner Hillary Clinton’s lead before voting begins.
The debate takes place Saturday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sanders and Clinton will square off — along with distant third candidate Martin O’Malley — in the key early voting state.
The debate takes place at 8 p.m. ET and will be aired on ABC, with live streaming video also available for those looking to watch it online (link to streaming video can be found below). There is no information on the format of the debate, Politico noted, and ABC spokespeople said they will not be releasing that before the debate itself.
While the exact shape of the final 2015 Democratic presidential debate may not be known, the debate will be led by some very experienced moderators. David Muir and Martha Raddatz of ABC News will be handling debate duties, and both have some serious political credentials. Raddatz served as moderator for the 2012 vice presidential debate, while Muir is a main political correspondent, interviewing Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Jeb Bush.
Viewers who watch the 2015 Democratic presidential debate live online will see a key moment both for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. For Sanders, the debate is a chance to turn around his fortunes of the last several weeks, with Clinton withstanding a surge in the late summer from Sanders and now building her lead.
She has a more than 20-point lead in national polls, and appears to be positioning herself for the general election. In recent stump speeches, Clinton has focused more on calling out Republican front runner Donald Trump than she has on Bernie Sanders.
Both Sanders and Martin O’Malley will need to come out with decisive performances, and likely take on Clinton directly, political experts say.
“For Sanders and O’Malley it’s a gut-check moment,” said Dante Scala, a political expert at the University of New Hampshire, via USA Today. “Are they, in their hearts, fine with Hillary being the nominee,” or do they want to escalate attacks that could hurt her in a general election, he said.
As USA Today noted, there is a “growing sense of inevitability” about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. A recent poll from CNN/WMUR found that about 60 percent of New Hampshire Democrats think Clinton will win the primary there, up from 42 percent in September. New Hampshire is seen as something close to a home field for Sanders, a Vermont Senator, and losing it would give him very little chance of winning other primaries.
For Clinton, Saturday’s debate could be a chance to solidify her lead and put a nail in the coffin of Sanders’ campaign.
Bernie Sanders could have another hurdle aside from Clinton’s growing lead in the polls. His campaign has sued the Democratic National Committee after it kept the campaign from using a critical voter database. The DNC claimed that Sanders’s campaign exploited a software bug to access confidential voter information that Clinton’s team had collected.
— Slate (@Slate) December 18, 2015
— CNN (@CNN) December 18, 2015
Meanwhile, the Republican primary looks increasingly muddled, with Trump still holding a lead but many expecting other more “establishment” candidates like Marco Rubio and Chris Christie to see a surge as the voting nears. And Ted Cruz has also been gaining on Trump, and is now within striking distance on many polls.
Viewers who want to watch the final 2015 presidential debate live online can click here for streaming video.
[Picture by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]