(NBC News) Ten Democratic presidential candidates taking part in tonight’s debate got an early look at the stage Thursday.
Last night’s opening scrum featured candidates lagging in fundraising and the polls early in the race.
Many consider tonight the main event, with four clear front-runners in group: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
“Democrats have lot of reason to be happy,” says former Republican Congressman David Jolly. “Every single one of those candidates draws a sharp contrast in competence and qualifications to our incumbent president.”
The format will be the same, with answers limited to 60 seconds and 30 seconds for rebuttals.
Issues including immigration, healthcare, jobs and the economy will frame the discussion, but for many democrats there is just one overriding question that needs to be answered here: who is the best to defeat President Trump.
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