Tuesday night marks the final debate before the Iowa caucuses, an entirely white debate, and what’s expected to be the sharpest-toned debate yet as the candidates try to break out before voting starts. Former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren; former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and billionaire Tom Steyer will take the stage after a week in which Sanders has been in conflict with both Biden and Warren.
Biden and Sanders have clashed over Biden’s record on the Iraq War, with Biden trying to seriously rewrite history, as well as Social Security. Sanders has distanced himself from a volunteer script targeting Warren’s electability and has denied having told Warren, in 2018, that he didn’t think a woman could win the presidency.
That sets up a key question for this debate: will candidates most aggressively jockey for position within lanes, with candidates on the left trying to separate from each other and centrists doing likewise, or will candidates take shots across lanes, centrists vs. progressives?
As the top candidates are—presumably—trying to take each other down, longer shots Klobuchar and Steyer will have to figure out how to make their marks.