The two remaining Democratic candidates are getting ready to go head to head on UWM soil in the first Democratic debate following the New Hampshire primary. On Feb. 11, the Helen Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts will play host to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as they compete for the likes of the nation in their sixth debate of the season. Here are some predictions of what will, might and won’t happen during the national event.
Will happen: Discussions of how close the Iowa caucus results were. Clinton won by a razor thin margin (or coin flip), with the outcome favoring her over Sanders by a mere .3 percent. Those 49.9 to 49.6 percentages aren’t holding true for the predicted results of the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary. As of Monday, Sanders holds a 26 percent lead over Clinton in the northeastern state. The moderators won’t be afraid to ask about the significance of these numbers.
Will happen: The moderators will exceed expectations. The debate features industry veterans Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff as the facilitators of the event. The two serve as co-anchors and managing editors of PBS NewsHour, both with vast histories in political journalism. Ifill has covered politics for NBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post, and Woodruff for CNN and NBC. This will be the first Democratic debate of the season to feature an all-female ensemble.
Will happen: UWM will get the attention it deserves. We locals know the great work that UWM puts out into the world, but do we emanate nationally? Not usually. Hopefully the debate will get more people speaking about our institution. After all, we recently climbed to R-1 doctoral research university status.
Might happen: Candidates using UWM’s population to their advantage. Although past debates this season have been held on college campuses, UWM likes to pride itself on being an urban research facility that thrives on diversity. In short, it is Sanders’ target audience: liberal millennials. Access to healthcare and higher education has been a main selling point of Sanders’ since day one of his candidacy, and it is something that almost all college students wouldn’t object to. But will he or Clinton get the chance to use their physical audience to their national advantage? Maybe; it depends on the determined topics of the evening.
Might happen: The making or breaking of a candidate. Although this is unlikely, nothing can be ruled out when a race is this neighboring. After the Iowa caucus results came in at such a close boundary, the candidates are undoubtedly under pressure to make each of their words count, possibly towards a new voter or two.
Won’t happen: Talk of Bill Clinton or the e-mail scandal. This is said and done. At this point, the moderators are well aware that there are more important issues to cover, issues that actually effect the future of our political realm. And anyways, Sanders has made it clear that he’s not bringing it up anytime soon.
Won’t happen: Finding a parking spot near campus. Though we are honored to hold the event, it will highly impact public transportation and street closures in the area. Find out if you will be impacted ahead of time.
(BONUS) Won’t happen: Martin O’Malley won’t be there to constantly interrupt the moderators. I have yet to decide if this makes me happy or not.
The Democratic debate is set to begin at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 on PBS. A live stream is available here.