Viewers can watch the 2015 Democratic presidential debate live online and see if Bernie Sanders can keep the pressure on Hillary Clinton as the polls tighten and the first primary voting grows ever closer.
The debate takes place Sunday at 9 p.m. ET from Charleston, South Carolina. The debate will be aired on NBC and carried live online for those watching the streaming coverage (leak to streaming video can be found below).
The debate will feature all three remaining Democratic candidates (including Martin O’Malley), but all the focus will be on the tightening race between Sanders and Clinton. After Sanders pulled within striking distance of Hillary Clinton this summer, she once again seized control through the fall and start of winter, regularly drawing over 50 percent support on national polls.
The race has gotten considerably closer in the past two weeks, however. Sanders has extended his lead in New Hampshire, which is something of home turf for the Vermont Senator, and he has caught up to Clinton in Iowa, as well.
Those who watch the 2016 Democratic debate live online may see Bernie Sanders with his best chance to surpass Clinton. Though there is still one more debate after Sunday, now is the time that Sanders has momentum and a chance to make his case that he is best to represent Democrats in November.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) January 16, 2016
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 16, 2016
As Fox News noted, Bernie Sanders needs some early primary wins and as much momentum as he can garner to make it through a stretch of more moderate states leaning heavy toward Clinton.
“Should Sanders win the coveted prizes of both Iowa and New Hampshire, it would hand him momentum going into trickier states such as South Carolina, and would raise serious questions about Clinton’s ability to secure the nomination.
“It isn’t just in the vital states of Iowa and New Hampshire where Clinton’s lead is narrowing – polls are showing Sanders gaining ground nationally.
“The latest Fox News Poll showed Clinton with a 15 point lead nationally. That’s down from a 25 point advantage as recently as two months ago, suggesting the race is tightening and that Sanders may be a serious concern for the Clinton camp.”
The race’s tightening is now even drawing parallels to 2008, when Barack Obama erased a similar deficit in pulling off his own upset over Hillary Clinton.
As Philip Bump of the Washington Post wrote, Clinton is actually in worse shape overall now than she was in 2008.
“Nationally, she was doing much better in 2008 than she is right now, perhaps in part because the anti-Clinton vote in 2008 was still split between two people — Barack Obama and John Edwards — instead of just one. But that recent trend line, a function of two new national polls that were close after a bit of a lull, is not very good news [for Clinton],” Bump wrote.
Fans who watch the 2016 Democratic debate online will likely see Bernie Sanders make a strong case for his electability. One of Clinton’s biggest strengths throughout the campaign has been her seeming strength in a general election, with many voters looking at her as the best chance of defeating the Republican candidate. But Sanders has surged in this area, with polls showing him doing much better against Donald Trump in the general election.
Hillary Clinton has already been hitting Sanders on this front, with ads suggesting that she is the only Democrat who can stop the GOP. That could make Sunday an all-important day for both candidate to make the case to voters.
Those who want to watch the 2016 Democratic presidential debate live online can click here for streaming video through NBC’s YouTube channel.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]