ATLANTA, Ga. (NBC) – Wednesday night, ten of the top Democratic hopefuls will take the stage hoping to gain some momentum in what is a crowded and still expanding field.
This is the fifth showdown for the Democrats. Ten candidates will be on stage for at least two hours. For those lagging in the polls and fundraising, this could be a last stand.
Of the ten candidates in Wednesday night’s debate, Pete Buttigieg may have the most momentum getting a boost in Iowa, the first caucus state, leading the latest Des Moines Register/CNN poll.
“Every time we have won in the last 50 years it’s been a new generation of candidates from outside Washington who was new on the scene,” Buttigieg said. He’s nine-points ahead of Elizabeth Warren, who said, “I don’t do polls.”
Buttigieg is polling ten points better than both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, who is challenging the South Bend mayor’s experience. “The next President of the United States is going to inherit a divided country and a world in disarray and there’s not going be a lot of time for on the job training,” Biden said.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick won’t be on the stage but he is now in the race. “I would not do it if I didn’t think there was still a path,” he said.
It’s an already crowded path that could soon include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who filed paperwork in Arkansas and Alabama and could formally announce his campaign in the next few days.
But Wednesday night, the focus will be on this stage in Georgia. And for the ten candidates, the discussion could include the impeachment proceedings, health care, education, and there is likely to be a focus on issues of equality.