What to Watch for at Tonight's First Democratic Presidential Debate
Democrats are ready for their moment in the spotlight. After two rollicking GOP debates and a cycle that's largely been dominated by the outsiders in the Republican field, party loyalists have worried they are being overshadowed. Read more about the candidates and the hurdles ahead: http://n.pr/1Na6q7y (The debate starts at 9 p.m. ET on CNN)
- •Hillary ClintonNeed: Appear likable and straightforward, especially when talking about those emails and recent policy positions. Avoid: Complicated explanations and defensiveness
- •Bernie SandersNeed: Convince a national audience he's presidential material and that he can branch out beyond his core economic message. Avoid: Lapsing into testiness
- •Martin O'MalleyNeed: Show he belongs in consideration as a top-tier candidate. Avoid: Debating about debates and getting on a high horse
- •Jim Webb and Lincoln ChafeeNeed: A breakout moment to show they're serious candidates. Avoid: Getting left out of the conversation
- •Joe BidenNeed: Show up? He's not yet announced his intentions, as he continues a public flirtation with a bid. CNN has left open the possibility of allowing Biden on stage, even if he were to decide as late as Tuesday. He has given no indication that he will do so.