The night is finally here: The first Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 race was slated to unfold in Las Vegas Tuesday night on CNN. And the Twittersphere is sure to be ablaze with reactions and memes throughout the evening.
While voters, politicians and the media were excited to see Hillary Clinton face off with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the other three candidates -- former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee -- have received minimal attention. This could make for a quieter debate than the last Republican event, which saw loud and sometimes hilarious jabs among the 15 candidates competing in the undercard and main debates.
The two Republican debates that have already taken place this cycle each saw huge ratings, bringing in 24 million and 23 million viewers, respectively. But that was largely due to Donald Trump and the spectacle of such a large field. CNN has said it expects Tuesday’s Democratic debate to have a significantly smaller audience -- but that doesn’t mean the Internet will be any less active.
Often the reactions on Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet can drive public opinion around which candidate “won” the debate at least as much as watching the debate itself. The Democratic candidates are not expected to tear into one another as much as Republicans did, but surprise attacks might come from those candidates not leading in the polls since they have less to lose.
And who knows? Perhaps even Vice President Joe Biden will show up and declare his candidacy in time to participate in the debate. He has already done well enough in the polls to meet CNN's debate criteria, and the network has an extra podium ready in case he announces his candidacy at the last minute before the debate starts. While it's extremely unlikely, that would make for an especially fun round of memes and Tweets.
As the Democratic debate takes place Tuesday night at the Wynn Las Vegas casino hotel, check back here for a live, updating collection of tweets throughout the evening.
jim webb pic.twitter.com/q3VtOnJneX
— Matt Bruenig (@MattBruenig) October 14, 2015
— Post Politics (@postpolitics) October 14, 2015
— Kyle McGlade (@KyleMcGlade) October 14, 2015
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) October 14, 2015
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) October 14, 2015
— Lily Adams (@adamslily) October 14, 2015
— Kate Norton (@norton_kate) October 14, 2015
— The Nightly Show (@nightlyshow) October 14, 2015
— Hillary for Iowa (@HillaryforIA) October 14, 2015
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) October 14, 2015
— USA TODAY 2016 (@usatoday2016) October 14, 2015
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) October 14, 2015
— Carol Costello (@CarolCNN) October 14, 2015
Lincoln Chafee's presidential campaign. pic.twitter.com/F62AntISem
— Jeremy Unger (@jeremyunger1) October 14, 2015
Hillary & Bernie: pic.twitter.com/SsqEeIz1ua
— Mark S. Luckie (@marksluckie) October 14, 2015
— Travon Free (@Travon) October 14, 2015
Oof, Chafee pic.twitter.com/Y5N9NMsXKY
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) October 14, 2015
— Financial Times (@FT) October 14, 2015
— John Stossel (@JohnStossel) October 14, 2015
— Florida Democrats (@FlaDems) October 14, 2015
— Hawkeyes for Hillary (@hawksforhill) October 14, 2015
Biggest applause line is the least-expected from Bernie to Hillary: "American people are sick & tired about hearing about your damn emails"
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 14, 2015
— Amy Hollyfield (@amy_hollyfield) October 14, 2015
— Sarah Parvini (@sarahparvini) October 14, 2015
— Glamour (@glamourmag) October 14, 2015
Neither O'Malley, Chafee nor Webb are breaking though tonight. Not enough to matter, anyway. This remains a Clinton-Sanders race. #DemDebate
— Mr Media Training (@MrMediaTraining) October 14, 2015
— New Republic (@NewRepublic) October 14, 2015
2008 O'Malley HRC endorsement mention #drink
— E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan) October 14, 2015
Jim Webb going after the foreign policy think tank staffers vote hard with that South China Sea answer.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) October 14, 2015
Jim Webb gets his debate points from YouTube comments #DemDebate
— Kahn Thomas Branch (@Kahnstitution) October 14, 2015
Eh. Needs more Trump
— Ben Rosen (@Rosen) October 14, 2015
Did Jim Webb just forget his kids name? #DemDebate
— Edward Erikson (@EdwardErikson) October 14, 2015
Do. Not. Forget. Your. Child’s. Name. On. National. Television.
— Juana Summers (@jmsummers) October 14, 2015
— Travon Free (@Travon) October 14, 2015
Parental Warning to Republicans watching debate: These people believe in evolution, science, and a woman's right to her own body. #DemDebate
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 14, 2015
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 14, 2015
The debate so far: pic.twitter.com/ICPT9gZVha
— Rebecca Sinderbrand (@sinderbrand) October 14, 2015
Chafee: "I have three kids" Webb: "I have five kids" O'Malley: "I have four kids" Sanders: "Our campaign finance system is corrupt"
— Andrew Katz (@katz) October 14, 2015