Democratic candidates set for Friday debate


Qualifying candidates lined up on stage before the Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 14 at Drake in Des Moines. 

Jake Webster

Just days after the Iowa caucuses ended in recriminations between the state and national Democratic parties and without a declared winner, seven Democratic presidential candidates will return to the debate stage in New Hampshire.

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang qualified for the debate scheduled to be broadcast 7 p.m. Friday on ABC.

Those seven candidates were also the top seven finishers in Monday’s delay-plagued Iowa caucuses. With 97 percent of precincts reporting as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, among the state delegate equivalents (SDE) used to determine a winner, Buttigieg has a razor-thin lead of 0.1 percent over Sanders. Warren trails in third, with Biden, Klobuchar, Yang and Steyer following in that order.

Biden underperformed his polling numbers, in the RealClearPolitics polling average of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers, just before the Iowa caucuses the former vice president was in second behind Sanders with 19.3 percent.

Among first round preferences of Iowa Democratic caucusgoers, effectively a popular vote, Biden received 14.9 percent support with 97 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Iowa Democratic Party’s website.

Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Biden called his Iowa results a “gut punch.”

Before any results were available Tuesday, Biden said to supporters there was “nothing to come back from yet, but I’d like you to rocket me out of here to make sure this thing works.”

In the RealClearPolitics polling average of likely New Hampshire primary voters Biden is again in second place to Sanders, with 17.7 percent support to the Vermont senator’s 25.5 percent. Sanders won the New Hampshire primary with more than 60 percent support in 2016, though there were only two major candidates by that point.

Following Biden in that polling average is Buttigieg with 15.7 percent support, Warren with 13.8 percent, Klobuchar with 7.8 percent, Steyer with 3.2 percent and Yang with 3 percent.