Tonight the democratic candidates for the presidency of the United States face off in the last debate scheduled for this race. New York will host two politicians debating their ideas to appeal to more voters and get ahead in the delegates count.

However, there is more than just a good debate to be expected, every site related to the issue is forecasting a night of intense discussions because the stakes are high for everybody, especially in the Democratic Party.

Democratic Debate Watching Party at Desoto Central Market. Credit: Phoenix New Times

Tonight the ones that want to listen carefully should have in mind five things that define the context of the democratic debate. In other words, what is in the revolutionary leather suitcase of Bernie Sanders? and also in the private e-mail of Hillary Clinton, to be fair.

There are 247 delegates at stake, in a way it is what Sanders needs to make the gap, between his delegates and hers, shorter. For Clinton is the opportunity to leave the Senator of Vermont neutralized if he wants to keep going for the convention.

This debate is particular because strong arguments and negotiations were necessary to agree on a date and a place. Both candidates’ campaigns had an exchange, less polite than that, of course, accusing each other of “political gamesmanship” and “making unreasonable demands”, according to TIME. The tension went public on statements and tweets, and then the campaigns scheduled the event.

1) First, everybody should know the details of the event – The debate will air on CNN and be streamed on

Starting at 9 pm Eastern. The place is Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York. No excuses.

2) The race is like a horse-race without any shortcomings for Clinton – Sanders’ last shot

Since Super Tuesday on March 1, the advantage of Clinton has been growing thanks to her wins in Florida and Ohio. Bernie trails Hillary by 216 pledged delegates – 247 delegates at stake in New York, is not only about delegates, it is also about time.

According to Vox, the “clock is ticking away,” as the time is going to fast now for Sanders to make up the deficit, and the Democrat’s rules are making time run even faster for the Senator. He will have to do very well from now on, he needs 56% of the remaining delegates to catch up with Hillary.

But not everything is good news for the Secretary of State. Sanders has been winning recently, taking with him 7 of the last 8 Democratic contests. However, nearly all of his wins have been in caucus states, adding up to the 11 caucuses he has won in US states since narrowly losing the first two in Iowa and Nevada. But those caucuses are not enough to change the math. In real terms, there is a change in the race since Hillary was leading Sanders by 300 delegates after the March 15 elections and now the gap is 200.

3) There is a thing about superdelegates and New York’s primaries are important because of that

Hillary Clinton has many superdelegates and Sanders don’t, simple. Superdelegates are the only delegates that can change their decision when supporting candidates. This means that the preferences of pledge delegates are a factor that could influence the convention, if Bernie wins enough delegates to catch up with Hillary.

If Sanders has the majority of pledged delegates or even fewer delegates than Clinton, he could make the case that he is a stronger candidate than her, and then superdelegates could change their mind. Also, if superdelegates vote against the will of the people it would be clear evidence that the system is rigged against the outsider: Bernie Sanders. Democracy would look bad, and it should not right now.

This is a chance for Bernie because he can force Clinton to compete for more pledged delegates, as her campaign promised to win the nomination without superdelegates playing a deciding role, assured Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz earlier Thursday on CNN. This promise came also after the Republican National Committee said that Hillary’s campaign was relying on superdelegates to win the nomination based on the comments of her campaign press secretary, Brian Fallon on an interview with CNN.

“Even if he wins some of them, and when you combine that with some of the party leaders and elected officials that serve as superdelegates where she also has a significant advantage, we think we’ll reach that number probably, possibly by the end of May if not after California,” Fallon said, referring to the June 7 primary, with its massive haul of 475 pledged delegates at stake, according to POLITICO.

Sanders could capitalize on this window of opportunity because he is not a party player as Clinton is, so he would not lose the admiration of his peers if he decides to go to a contested convention. Superdelegates would be in trouble if he shows they make it harder for an outsider to have a chance without creating problems in the establishment.

4) Real issues have been part of the debate – And now more than ever

To put things as they are right now, Bernie Sanders most resonating policy is taking on Wall Street’s “Too Big To Fail” banks, through a political revolution. Hillary Clinton, according to the New York Times, has been defensive with Sanders as she has been focusing on maintaining her base and supporters in her moderate headquarters.

In an interview with The Daily News, Sanders was asked about his plan to break up banks that are too big to fail, and the majority of the media talked about the seeming lack of clarity the Senator showed in the content of his answers.

The Upshot published a piece in which Sanders’ answers in the interview seem perfectly coherent. Dodd-Frank and the Treasury are key to this policy under a Sanders’ administration. In contrast, Clinton’s views on banks regulations might be losing ground these days since with the revelation that five big banks had failed to develop plans to shrink, and she is known to be very close to Wall Street.

Clinton has the opportunity of putting Sanders against the wall on guns, and she has been saying that arms from Vermont, the state of the Senator, are killing New Yorkers, the birthplace of the old Bernie. Sanders views on this issue might be also losing ground from the perspective of a cosmopolitan city, with a diverse electorate that doesn’t seem to like guns at all.

5) The tone of the speeches from both candidates might be starting to look like a Republican Debate

The Washington Post has a different set of 5 things to watch for tonight’s debate. All in all, it is a fact that the tension between Bernie and Hillary is now public, and some may think is much higher than it seems.

What is true is that Sanders said that he was in doubt about the kind of president Clinton will be, and that meant that he thought the Secretary of State was not qualified to do the job. Some Democrats saw this as a low argument which could affect Clinton in a National election against Donald Trump, for example. Sanders later backtracked on the comment.

“On her worst day she would be an infinitely better president than either of the Republican candidates,” Mr. Sanders said on NBC on Friday morning, adding that the two Democratic candidates should focus on the issues instead of leveling attacks.

Clinton demanded a disavowal from the Vermont candidate to a surrogate who spoke about “corporate Democratic whores” on Wednesday night during the Vermont senator’s rally in Washington Square Park. Sanders repudiated the remarks and said there is “now room” for that kind of “language”.

Source: The New York Times