The gloves are (finally) off. With the next round of partisan madness just around the corner, the three remaining Democratic presidential candidates are getting ready to square off Saturday at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. And given the heightened tension between frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' camps, you'll definitely want to figure out how to watch the debate now. Things are guaranteed to get wild. So where can you tune in?
Of course, the CBS/Twitter-hosted event, which will be emceed by Face the Nation anchor John Dickerson, will be broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on all CBS news networks. According to CBS News President David Rhodes, there will be ample opportunity to join in on the evenings' developments directly through your computer, tablet, or smartphone as well. "Our people have worked with Twitter’s unique curator tools to measure changing responses to what viewers will see on the screen," he said in a statement discussing the partnership between the news network and the popular social media platform. "Twitter integration will inform our coverage and integrate seamlessly with CBSN, our always-on digital network."
Not only will Twitter users be able to contribute to the debate and reflect on the night's events in real time, but they'll also be able to submit questions. That means if you're just dying to know what Bernie had for lunch that day, or to ask Hillary about her favorite type of cheese, you'll be able to ask them those questions directly by posting to Twitter with the hashtag #DemDebate. Whether your query actually makes it to the debate floor or not, however, is up to the moderators themselves. Sorry.
If live updates aren't enough, and you're still looking to watch the debate on the small screen, CBSN (the network's online news channel, which was launched in November last year) will also be livestreaming the event. So you'll be able to make heart eyes over Martin O'Malley's magnificent hair and gleaming, toothy smile to your heart's content without having to haul yourself out of the house to buy a new flat-screen TV.
This debate is slated to be a good one. For the most part, Clinton has been able to maintain a relative stranglehold on most national polls over the past few months. However, with rival Sanders lagging only a few dozen points behind (closer than anyone expected when he first jumped into the race), some pundits are urging that she not get too comfortable.
"Polls, fundraising and basic logic pertaining to recent Clinton scandals show Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination," wrote Huffington Post political blogger H.A. Goodman in an editorial piece on October 28. "Nobody goes from less than 1 percent nationally to over 30 percent without serious momentum and unprecedented energy among grass roots supporters; the basis of any winning ground game."
Compounding Clinton's lead is how the former Secretary of State's camp has upped the ante with incendiary claims of sexism on Sanders' part — which Sanders vehemently denied. It seems that after so many months of playing nice in the debates and on the fundraising circuit, the Democratic party has suddenly found its bite. If Sanders and Clinton keep this sort of back and forth up, the second debate will likely be one to remember.
The Democratic debate is also a landmark moment for Twitter, as the company follows in the footsteps of rivals Facebook and Google, which have partnered with various news networks over the past two election cycles. Most recently, Facebook partnered with both Fox News and CNN to host the first Republican primary debate in September and the first Democratic primary debate in October. With over one billion and 307 million active users punching in on Facebook and Twitter each day, respectively, jumping into the debate arena headfirst is a pretty brilliant way to not only bring the public to the political table, but to also garner a larger user base.
"As the 2016 US presidential election cycle begins to heat up, we’ve seen more and more voters across the country join the live presidential debate conversation on Twitter," a spokesperson explained in a statement Oct. 26. In a tweet from its dedicated Twitter Government account, which tracks civic engagement across the platform, the social media behemoth added that it was "excited" to be partnering with CBS to bring the debate to a larger segment of the public.