Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will go toe-to-toe in Brooklyn on Thursday in a debate that may very well play a role in changing the momentum of the Democratic race. Thursday’s debate is Sanders’ last opportunity to cause an upset in the race and turn the primary run in his favor. The two will square off at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
In the last week, Sanders’ campaign has been more aggressive, with the senator contending that Clinton is not “qualified” to be president. Sanders called her judgment into question, citing her vote in favor of the Iraq war and her donations from Wall Street to her super PAC. Sanders also went on the offensive by attacking Bill Clinton’s criminal justice record.
Clinton bit back, accusing Sanders of being ill equipped to break up the big banks and claiming the Vermont senator is not truly a Democrat.
The debate comes at a time of controversy for the Clinton campaign, after a racially-charged joke on stage with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio backfired. The two candidates will go head-to-head on issues that New Yorkers care about, like Mideast policy and policing reform.
Despite Clinton’s snafu, Sanders is the one who faces intense pressure in New York. Clinton is still leading in the polls by double digits just days before the primary. Her campaign is already sending out the message that the race is all but finished if Sanders doesn’t pull off a stunning victory in New York.
Ahead of the crucial debate, Sanders held a rally in Washington Square Park, with 27,000 in attendance and a reported 48,000 in the overflow crowd. Clinton and her allies took comfort in the perceived notion that a solid performance at Thursday’s debate would clinch a win for her in New York.