The field for the Democratic nomination for president has narrowed significantly, and the first challenge in Iowa is more or less done. Both Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg have declared absolute victory in Iowa. The punditry has erased third place finisher Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. Joe Biden’s fourth place showing has him on his heels. Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang are still on the stage, but at the edge of the bubble.
Those are the candidates you’ll see Friday night on ABC’s airing of the next debate at 8 PM ET, with live coverage here at Daily Kos, as always. It’s hard to know exactly what will happen, but clearly everyone, including the anchors, will be anxious to tear down the front-runners because that’s how these work. Biden’s surrogates say he be in a fighting mode. “People want to see the fire, they want to see fight and they want to see the differences,” a prominent Biden backer in New Hampshire, Democratic operative Jim Demers, told AP. Biden has been going after both Sanders and Buttigieg in his New Hampshire appearances this week.
All that might mean we don’t have 20 minutes of anchors haranguing Warren about whether she’ll raise taxes to pay for her health plan. Klobuchar, Yang, and Steyer likely will have to be particularly aggressive to get a word in.
The moderators are chief anchor and political correspondent on ABC News George Stephanopoulos, World News Tonight anchor David Muir, and ABC News Live anchor Linsey Davis. They’ll be joined by local broadcasters WMUR-TV political director Adam Sexton and WMUR-TV anchor Monica Hernandez.