BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) The field is narrowing and the stakes are high for Tuesday's Democratic Presidential Debate. Six candidates will be on stage for the final debate before the Iowa caucuses in early February.
"This is a very consequential debate, especially when we're looking at what's coming up in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina," said Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton.
A dozen candidates remain in the race for the Democratic nomination, but just six qualified for the seventh debate in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sharing the stage Tuesday night are Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.
Denton said he expects a night of attacks and counter-attacks, as well as messages targeting specific parts of the Democratic base.
"And for the Democrats it comes down to a real choice between candidates who represent the more progressive liberal wing of the party and those a little bit more moderate who say, look, our purpose ought to be to beat Trump," Denton said. "And so we're seeing a divide within the Democratic party across the top four candidates."
Denton said Virginia should play a significant role in the run-up to Super Tuesday.
He said he expects to see most, if not all, of the candidates campaigning in the state, particularly in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, between now and March 3.
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