1. Will Sanders take heat?
Sanders has proven himself to be one of the most durable candidates in the Democratic primary field. But after a Des Moines Register-CNN poll released on Friday showed him taking the lead in Iowa, with 20 percent support among likely Democratic caucusgoers, Tuesday’s debate will be the first in which Sanders is the front-runner.
So far, his top rivals have largely avoided direct confrontations with the progressive firebrand, aware of his deep support among the Democratic Party’s activist factions. Now that he’s polling at the top of the pack, however, he could see an onslaught of criticism when he takes the stage in Des Moines.
He may also face questions about a CNN report detailing allegations that Sanders told Warren during a private meeting in 2018 that he did not believe a woman could win the White House. Sanders denied that allegation in a lengthy statement to the news network. But it could provide fodder for his rivals.