WESTERVILLE, Ohio (KETK) – With the Iowa Caucuses just 111 days away, candidates for the Democratic nomination will gather in at Otterbein University for the first time since the impeachment inquiry of President Trump began over the Ukraine scandal.
All 10 candidates who participated in last month’s Houston debate qualified again along with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and billionaire Tom Steyer, who will be making his first debate appearance.
It will also mark the return of Bernie Sanders after suffering a heart attack just two weeks ago.
Warren vs. Biden
For the Biden campaign, the last month has seen a candidate in freefall. At the Houston debate, he enjoyed a near ten-point lead nationwide, according to the RealClearPolitics national average. Now, many polls have him in a statistical tie with Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The Massachusetts Senator has been cementing herself as the choice for progressive Democratic voters and has been trying to chip away Biden’s advantage of “electability.”
In the latest Quinnipiac poll, she holds a three-point lead over the former Vice President. When voters were asked which candidate had the best policy ideas, 40 percent sided with Warren.
As always, President Trump will loom large once again over the debate, but in a much different way.
Since the Houston debate, President Trump has become embroiled in a scandal involving a call to Ukraine where he is accused of threatening to withhold aid unless they investigated the son of political rival Joe Biden.
President Trump denies any wrongdoing, saying he has a duty to investigate corruption. It is the most serious threat of impeachment Trump has faced during his term in office and candidates will surely be asked if they believe it is being properly handled.
Despite the calls for impeachment from nearly all the candidates, it is still highly unlikely that Trump will be removed from office if he is impeached. 20 Republican Senators would need to defect, assuming all Democrats vote against him.
Sanders and Harris Plummet
The Sanders campaign took a notable drop in the polls since he suffered a heart attack two weeks ago. The 78-year-old candidate has taken tife off the campaign trail while he recuperates.
In the same Quinnipiac poll from above, Sanders fell to just 11 percent of the vote. While still solidly in third-place, Warren and Biden combined for nearly 50 percent.
California Senator Kamala Harris, once thought to be one of the contenders for the nomination, has seen her numbers fall drastically.
Just three months ago, she sat in second place in the RCP National Average and seemed to head into the fall season with all the momentum. Since then, she has dropped to fifth place and earning around four percent, roughly half of what Mayor Pete Buttigieg is earning.
The debate is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Central Time and will be hosted by CNN and The New York Times.