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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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What to watch for at Friday’s Democratic forum

Democratic+forum
Photo by By Regan Brunsvold
Democratic forum

The Democratic pool is down to three heading into Friday’s Democratic forum at Winthrop University in South Carolina. From dropouts to Congressional hearings, a lot has changed for these candidates, setting the stage for an interesting night. Here’s what to look for in the forum.
1. Introductions, round two
As a forum, the candidates won’t be talking over each other, arguing with each other or angling to have their voices heard. They’ll have a chance to express their positions on the issues without fear of being cut off or confronted for what they say. This will give each candidate a chance to introduce themselves to the voters as an individual, rather than as just one of the Democratic candidates. 
2. A confident Clinton

Following the last debate, Sec. Hillary Clinton had a hearing on Benghazi that lasted 11 hours. The hearing had the capacity to either help her campaign or harm it, and it appears as though the first  was true — her poll numbers climbed after the hearing. Perhaps the biggest confidence boost to Clinton’s campaign, however, was Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not make a bid for the 2016 office. After his announcement, polls indicate it is Clinton’s nomination to lose. 

3. A more aggressive Sanders

Viewers who thought Sanders was aggressive during the first debate should prepare to “feel the Bern” with an even more contentious Sanders Friday. His campaign has been losing steam to Clinton’s, and Sanders must be feeling the pressure. He did well online after the last debate, but Sanders will need to distinguish himself from Clinton even more during the forum.

4. O’Malley’s last chance

Immediately following the first Democratic debate, candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee dropped their campaign for the Democratic nomination. Both were polling low before, just as Martin O’Malley is now. The forum could really work to O’Malley’s favor if he plays his cards right, but he’ll have to prove himself as a real contender during his time if he wants any shot at a feasible campaign. 

5. Maddow, the wildcard

Following the GOP debate hosted by CNBC last week, moderators of the political debates have come under a heated spotlight. While this is not a debate and there is less room for error moderator Rachel Maddow, who is a historically liberal host on the network, may consider how she approaches the candidates in light of the criticism. Or she may disregard it and keep to her aggressive, left-leaning hosting style. It’s anyone’s guess. 

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