After a Bernie Sanders victory over Hillary Clinton in the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, in a Democratic campaign that becomes more acrimonious by the day, voters want to know when the candidates face off in their next debate. Clinton and Sanders have not battled on a debate stage since March 9.
Since that last debate, Clinton won primaries in six states, while Sanders has won caucuses in five states plus a primary in one, Wisconsin. Clinton also took the caucus vote in the North Marianas Islands.
— Javier Soriano (@JavierSorianoNY) April 6, 2016
Their respective victories have put Clinton firmly in control of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, leading by 214 pledged delegates — and nearly 2.4 million votes — heading into a series of delegate-rich eastern state primaries in which Clinton is favored to come out on top.
But Sanders has won five of the last six contests and four in a row, allowing him to claim “momentum” in the race, making the New York primary on April 19 a potential turning point in the campaign for both Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Watch the last Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton Democratic debate, held March 9 in Miami, Florida, in the video below.
Sanders trails Clinton in New York by 10 percentage points in the latest poll released there, a YouGov survey concluded April 1, and by nearly 16 points in the polling average compiled by the election-projecting site FiveThirtyEight.com. So he would have less than two weeks not only to close a gap of at least 10 points, but to gain at the very minimum four of five additional percentage points on Clinton.
Clinton: Sanders Hasn’t ‘Done His Homework’ On Key Issues https://t.co/APQa02djIj
— 1010 WINS (@1010WINS) April 6, 2016
But the Bernie Sanders campaign got off to a rocky start in New York, when the candidate appeared to botch an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board, failing to come up with specific answers to questions about central tenets of his platform, such as Wall Street reform.
One issue on which he did get specific in the Daily News interview was his opposition to allowing victims of gun violence, such as the families of children killed in the Sandy Hook schoolhouse massacre, to sue gun manufacturers. His blanket opposition to such lawsuits led the Daily News to excoriate Sanders on its Wednesday, April 6, front page.
Clinton appeared on the MSNBC Morning Joe program on Wednesday to pile on Bernie Sanders over his Daily News interview, slamming Sanders for not “doing his homework.” Watch that Morning Joe segment in the video below.
The New York debate — which will be the ninth between the two candidates — is now scheduled for April 14, but almost didn’t happen, as the two campaigns squabbled and traded bitter barbs for about a week.
The spat began when a Clinton spokesperson, Chief strategist Joel Benenson, said that whether or not his candidate took part in future debates would depend on the “tone” of the Sanders campaign, which he said had become too negative.
But when Clinton gave in and proposed several dates for the debate in New York, the Sanders campaign accused her of “playing games,” specifically singling out the April 14 date as impossible because Sanders had already scheduled a rally in New York City on that date.
Finally, the two sides agreed to hold a debate at Fort Green Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday, April 14, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, 6 p.m. Pacific, and ending two hours later. The much-anticipated debate, which promises to be the most acrimonious yet, will be broadcast nationally by CNN, which will offer a live stream at this link. Local cable news outlet New York One will also carry the debate, as well as a live stream at this link.
[Photo By Joe Raedle/Getty Images]