Thursday is the sixth Democratic presidential debate and the second time that the stage will feature just two candidates. This debate will give Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders a chance to face off one-on-one after Sanders defeated Clinton in a historic win in the New Hampshire primary election Tuesday night.
The debate will take place in Milwaukee and provides one of the few opportunities for the candidates to discuss their platforms in such a public forum between now and the next nominating contests. Now that the first two contests are over, the Democrats have to wait until Feb. 20 for the next one, which will be the Nevada caucuses. After that, they will compete in the South Carolina primary election Feb. 27 before heading into the slew of primaries that will take place March 1 for Super Tuesday.
Before the Iowa caucuses kicked off the 2016 voting season, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had joined Sanders and Clinton for their debates, but he dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the Hawkeye State. With just two candidates left on the Democratic side of the presidential race, Clinton and Sanders have been battling it out in the polls.
Clinton, originally considered the prohibitive favorite, remains in the lead nationally, holding an average of 49.3 percent support to Sanders’s 36 percent support, according to Real Clear Politics. After the former secretary of state narrowly won in Iowa and Sanders won in New Hampshire, the upcoming contests are likely to be important in determining the direction of the race. Clinton has typically done well in debates, so Sanders will need to deliver a strong performance to capitalize on his New Hampshire win and keep his momentum going before Nevada.
The debate in Wisconsin is being hosted by PBS and will begin at 9 p.m. EST.