The last two candidates standing in the Democratic primary met tonight in New Hampshire for a one-on-one debate hosted by MSNBC. As the current leader in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders went into the debate hoping to maintain his strong lead, while Hillary Clinton is working hard to narrow the gap before the primary next Tuesday. Each candidate came ready for a battle and the stakes couldn’t be higher as the race tightens.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
MSNBC Democratic Debate

Candidates: Clinton, Sanders
Moderators: Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow
Transcript: MSNBC Debate Transcript

Here is the complete debate video:

Report from Yahoo News:

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off Thursday in the first debate since their bruising Iowa clash and days before the next round of voting in the tortuous race to the White House.

Clinton won Iowa by a hair but Sanders leads handsomely in the polls in New Hampshire, where Republicans are also swarming to for the crucial February 9 vote, with Donald Trump eager to reclaim the Republican lead after he was beaten in Iowa by arch-conservative Senator Ted Cruz.

The billionaire Trump also faces the sudden, dramatic rise of Senator Marco Rubio, who is gaining traction among mainstream Republican voters.

Sanders, an independent senator from neighboring Vermont and self-described democratic socialist, is riding high in the Granite State, commanding a 20 percent lead over Clinton, according to the latest poll.

Clinton’s campaign admitted that Sanders had raised more money in January — $20 million in donations to their $15 million, an indication of Sanders’ growing stature in their battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sanders claimed moral victory in the Iowa vote earlier this week, drawing nearly even with his more illustrious rival in the first vote of the 2016 election cycle.

Clinton clinched the narrowest victory in Iowa caucus history with 49.8 percent compared to 49.6 percent for Sanders, saving herself the embarrassment of reliving her bitter 2008 defeat to Barack Obama.

She is now trying to cut substantially into Sanders’ New Hampshire lead and regain some momentum going into friendlier territory later this month in Nevada and South Carolina.

Hillary Clinton came out fighting back against the “establishment” label which Sanders has frequently categorized her with. She attempted to make inroads but Sanders was prepared for the push back. This debate was certainly much more aggressive, especially on the part of Clinton who is fighting to erode a twenty to thirty point deficit in New Hampshire. An interesting question is whether debates are more helpful to Clinton or more helpful for Sanders. Given that her poll numbers are slipping, I’d have to give the edge to Sanders but clearly the Clinton campaign felt the need to ask for a debate before the New Hampshire primary.