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The 7 Big Questions Going Into Tonight's Debate

What to look for when the presidential hopefuls take the stage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 20, 2019 7:04 AM CST
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Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a fundraiser for the Nevada Democratic Party, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)
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(Newser) – New uncertainty hangs over the Democratic presidential primary as 10 candidates meet on the debate stage once again Wednesday night—just 75 days before primary voting begins. Here are 7 big questions heading into the debate, which begins at 9pm ET on MSNBC and will feature an all-female line-up of moderators.

  1. Who is the frontrunner? Turbulent polling across the early voting states has created a murky picture of the top tier of the 2020 class, reports the AP. As much as Joe Biden is still a frontrunner, so are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Bernie Sanders. The question is who gets the frontrunner treatment in Wednesday’s debate. Warren was under near-constant attack last month as a new leader. Will Warren continue to face the heat, or will the ascendant Buttigieg or weakening Biden take more hits?
  2. Can they save themselves? New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, businessman Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer are under enormous pressure to break out given their status as the only candidates onstage who haven't yet qualified for the December debate. They likely won't have the same number of opportunities to speak as their higher-polling rivals, but these are dire times for the underdogs. They need to do something if they expect to stay relevant in the 2020 conversation.

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