The Democratic presidential hopefuls are crashing the party on Saturday. ABC will host the Democratic party's third primary debate in the long lead up to the 2016 Presidential election at 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, and the debate will showcase three candidates as they face off on stage at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Here are five things to know about Saturday's debate:
1. The network
Saturday's event is the first debate ABC has hosted during the current election cycle. ABC's David Muir and Martha Raddatz will lead the discussion as the evening's moderators. The next time ABC will host a debate will be on Feb 6., when the network will get a stab at running a Republican primary debate, and that event will also take place at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
2. The candidates
Three candidates will participate in the debate on Saturday: the party's frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.
The biggest news concerning the Democratic hopefuls as of late hit the wires on Friday, when the Democratic National Committee revoked Sanders campaign's access to its master list of Democratic primary voter data. According to the Washington Post, one or several of Sanders' campaign staff members gained access to Clinton's campaign database. Considering the fact that the security fiasco just broke, it's possible Sanders will be asked to comment on the debacle on Saturday.
3. The location
The fact that Saturday's debate is located in New Hampshire matters. Though it's a relatively small state, New Hampshire is the first host to an actual primary vote. That means what the state's voters think is typically a good barometer, and campaigners use what happens in New Hampshire to judge sentiment early on in the race and adjust strategies accordingly.
4. The political landscape:
The Democratic candidates are meeting at a complicated time in America and abroad. Since the bloody terror attacks on Paris that the Islamic State Group carried out on Nov. 13, there has been an uptick in gun violence in the U.S. A resulting debate on immigrants in America has also come hand-in-hand with Islamophobia.
Though the Republican candidates discussed their strategies to win the war against ISIS at length during the GOP primary debate on Tuesday, the Republican candidates spoke little about gun control. The issue is likely to crop up on Saturday, as candidates onstage respond to recent issues of gun violence in the U.S., such as the homegrown terror attack in San Bernardino on Dec. 2 that took the lives of 14 victims.
5. The numbers
According to the most recent data from the Huffington Post, Clinton is the top-polling candidate by far. With more than a majority, or 55.9%, of democratic primary voter' favor, Clinton continues to beat her challengers by a landslide — Sanders is polling at 28.9% and O'Malley is pulling a meager 3.3% in the polls.