Viewers can watch the first 2015 Democratic presidential debate live online and see the first national bout between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the road to the presidential nomination.
The two will take the stage on CNN on Tuesday night, with the debate starting at 8:30 p.m. ET and concluding at 11 p.m. ET. Viewers not able to make it to a television will be in luck, as CNN is offering free live streaming video of the event (link below).
Those who tune in on Tuesday will see a contest that has grown decidedly closer in recent weeks. Hillary Clinton has for at least the last two years been seen as the presumptive nominee, with many political analysts expecting her to walk to the nomination.
But Bernie Sanders has been riding a wave of popularity, regularly drawing 10,000 or more to his rallies and resonating with a largely young political base that is disenchanted with a political process that they feel apart from.
Those who watch the first 2015 Democratic presidential debate live online will get to see Sanders take his message to a nationwide audience for the first time. Sanders does not have the national stature of Hillary Clinton, but he has been steadily building his name thanks to large support across social media and on Reddit.
As CNN noted, Sanders has struck a populist tone that has resonated with voters.
“Ahead of the showdown in Las Vegas, Sanders spent the weekend making the case he’s not out of the mainstream, repeatedly arguing that it’s ‘not a radical idea’ to think someone should be paid a livable wage or that students should not go into a lifetime of debt. “I don’t think this is a leftist, extremist position,” he said at a Saturday rally in Boulder, Colorado, referring to a $15 minimum wage.
“Hillary Clinton’s failure to quiet the questions surrounding her use of a private e-mail account coupled with her establishment credentials have provided an opening for Sanders, who nearly matched her quarterly fundraising total with a $26 million haul.”
The polls reflect Sanders’ momentum. Since officially joining the race in April, he has seen his support increase from 6 percent to 24 percent among registered Democratic voters.
But despite his recent jump in the polls, Sanders still finds himself trailing Clinton badly in many areas of the country. New polls from Nevada and South Carolina show the former Secretary of State still holding onto large leads.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) October 10, 2015
Tuesday’s debate could still have other effects. Vice President Joe Biden has not yet officially joined the race despite rumblings that he might, but CNN has said it would reserve a spot for him to enter — even up to the day of the debate itself.
The debate will also include the other candidates, including Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb, and Martin O’Malley.
It will not be as raucous as the Republican debate, which featured a fiery Donald Trump going after the other candidates. Moderator Anderson Cooper said he does not plan to pit the candidates against each other.
“I’m always uncomfortable with that notion of setting people up in order to kind of promote some sort of a face off,” Cooper said (via the Washington Examiner). “Look, these are all serious people. This is a serious debate. They want to talk about the issues and I want to give them an opportunity to do that.”
Of course, that hasn’t stopped Trump from injecting himself into the Democratic debate, which he predicted would be “boring.”
Donald Trump predicts many will watch Democratic debate for 10 or 15 minutes, get bored, and turn it off: http://t.co/1BLAOlSIAd
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 12, 2015
Whatever the outcome, both candidates will have the chance to reach a very large audience. Aside from viewers tuning in on television, CNN is also opening it up for anyone to watch the 2015 Democratic presidential debate live online.
“All users will be able to watch live CNN TV online and on their mobile devices without logging in… The CNN live stream will be available on CNN.com’s Home Page and across its mobile platforms,” the network announced.
[Picture by Darren McCollester/Getty Images]