Scheduled for this Friday, however, is a crucial debate taking place in the Granite State with the Iowa caucus debacle set as the backdrop. With how poorly the Iowa caucus went, the race has changed somewhat to be looking at New Hampshire for the kickoff tone of what Democratic voters are truly thinking.
In the 71% of Iowa caucus results released at the time of publishing, Pete Buttigieg currently leads but no winner can be projected and no final results have yet been certified. At the moment, the Iowa Democratic Party is still finishing the count and verifying the outstanding votes following the technical issues on caucus night.
Here’s everything you need to know about the New Hampshire Democratic Debate on Friday, Feb. 7, which will take place at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
ABC/WMUR New Hampshire Democratic Debate (8th Debate)
Time: 8 pm ET (7 pm CT, 6 pm MT, 5 pm PT)
Date: Friday, February 7, 2020
Watch On: ABC
Live Stream: ABCNews.com, WMUR.com, Apple News, YouTube
Location: St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH
Sponsors: ABC News, WMUR, Apple News
Moderators: George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Linsey Davis
There will be seven candidates on stage in New Hampshire, and it doesn’t look like the eventual Iowa caucus results will end up changing anything. The debate rules were altered for the Feb. 7 debate to additionally allow any candidate receiving at least one delegate from the Iowa caucuses to also earn a debate spot even if they hadn’t qualified based on donors or polling.
The closest candidate is Mike Bloomberg, but early results show his Iowa caucus numbers to be 1% or less, not enough to win any delegates. The deadline for poll numbers is Thursday, Feb. 6.
How candidates qualify
Candidates can qualify if they capture donations from 225,000 individual donors, in addition to receiving at least 5 percent support in four polls, which can be national polls or surveys of voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Iowa is excluded from this list since the Feb. 7 debate takes place after the Iowa caucuses.
The candidates have a window for polls released between Dec. 13 and Feb. 6, the day before the New Hampshire debate, to qualify based on polling.
The new alternative way that a candidate can qualify is tied to the Iowa caucus results. Any candidate who is awarded at least one pledged delegate to the Democratic National Convention based on the results of the Iowa caucuses, as reported and calculated by the Iowa Democratic Party, will be able to participate.
New Hampshire just became more important
With the Iowa caucus chaos still festering, and Bernie Sanders claiming victory alongside Pete Buttigieg, the New Hampshire primary itself and the debate have become much more important.
With the debate rules tightening to a requirement of 10 percent in national polls, or 12 percent in state polls for the Nevada debate next week, the New Hampshire affair may be the last shot some of these candidates have to make a case for their candidacies.
Specifically, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who appears to be beating her expectations in Iowa, but is still sitting in fifth place, is nearing the point where she needs to show some bigger gains or will soon find the end of her road. The Iowa caucus results aren’t fully in yet but it’s not likely she would beat out Biden, who currently sits in fourth place.
The New Hampshire debate will be the first debate following Joe Biden’s seemingly terrible results from Iowa. Again, the results aren’t final yet, but with 72% of precincts reported, Biden is sitting in fourth place with just 15% of the vote Iowa, enough to come away with one or a handful of delegates at most.
Biden can ignore those results, and instead focus on South Carolina, but finishing that far down the list could be monumentally devastating depending on how New Hampshire turns out. If the best Biden can do is manage fourth place in Iowa, and, say, third place in New Hampshire, then it indicates voters don’t buy his argument of electability any longer.
The latest Boston Globe/Suffolk poll (PDF) of New Hampshire primary voters gives Sanders in first place, with 24%, and has Biden tied with Buttigieg at 15% in second place. If Buttigieg prevails in Iowa, it’s easy to see him at least winning second in New Hampshire which pushes Biden further down the list.
Friday’s Democratic debate will be critical. We’ll have the live stream available and more information later this week.