The Democratic presidential candidates will face voters in a CNN-sponsored debate on Monday in Des Moines, IA. The fifth democratic debate, which will take place one week before the much-anticipated Iowa causes, will give voters the purest look at the differences between candidates, as they air their opinions about different national issues.
Here's everything you need to know about the Jan. 25 forum event.
CNN Iowa Democratic Town Hall
Time: 9pm ET (8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT)
Location: Drake University in Des Moines, IA
Live Stream: CNN Go
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will field questions from Iowa voters in this prime-time event sponsored by CNN. The town hall will be moderated by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. According to the network's website, the event will be broadcasted live to all of their Iowa affiliates. CNN held two Republican debates last fall, as well as a Democratic debate that was the most-watched Democratic debate in history.
Furthermore, the event is a huge change from the previous debates that the Democratic National Committee scheduled. The odd time slot and limited number of debates provoked criticisms from Democratic hopefuls Sanders and O'Malley, according to Vanity Fair.
The candidates said the committee was not giving them adequate time to make their case to the American voters, in comparison to the numerous Republican debates that made a record-breaking number of viewers.
The CNN town hall comes as the battle for Democratic nomination is locked between Clinton and Sanders. The Vermont senator leads Clinton by double digits in New Hampshire, while Clinton is seen more favorably by Democrats in South Carolina and in national polls.
In order for Clinton to make her numbers good, she clings as hard as possible to the Obama brand. In addition, she casts Sanders as someone who will undo Obama's legacy. The former secretary of state claims that Sanders's health-care plan would give Republicans an opening to abolish Obamacare.
Clinton may view the forum as her last chance to transform her image before a wide television audience, after she received criticisms from her email controversy.
As for Sanders, he told Observer that he has not spent a "whole lot of money" on ads directly attacking Clinton. Moreover, he has mostly stuck to his pledge to avoid negative campaigning.
The two candidates are not that far apart on many issues. On women's right and women's health issues, Clinton and Sanders are seemingly on the same ground. They both agreed on equal-pay bills, universal pre-kindergarten education programs, and paid family leave. Moreover, their positions are on the same page for immigration issues and some aspects of campaign finance.