Hillary will attempt to pretend to be authentic. It will be very awkward. Hillary will also have pre-scripted one-liners that she will awkwardly deliver. She will mention her emails in some sort of snapchat-like joke and pin the scandal on a right-wing conspiracy. Actually, any question that she doesn’t have an answer to, she will pin on Donald Trump and right-wing conspiracies. Hillary will try to stay away from mocking any Democratic candidate since she is trying to be nice and things. (This strategy will change by the time the next debate comes around, or by the second hour).
Bernie will continue to be the socialist that hipsters love. He will give many plans that sound like unicorns and fairy dust, and they will be literal unicorns and fairy dust. Some of the Democrats will find his ideas glorious, while others will realize that they are extremely idealistic and unachievable. He also might try to hide his libertarian view on guns. He won’t spend much of his time calling out other candidates. He will spend time giving answers to the questions–despite how feasible they are. Someone will point out that socialism is bad. Then, he will try to rebut with a weak socialism argument.
This candidate is my one-to-watch candidate. He will either pull a 2012 Perry and say something that will force him to immediately get out of the race, or he will pull a Carly Fiorina and emerge as the Democratic candidate to watch. He has advocated for more Democratic debates. Presumably, only a good debater would advocate for more debates. O’Malley will probably give shoutouts to the wonderful state of Maryland and brag about the wonderful things in the state. However, it won’t be mentioned that the current Republican Governor of the blue state has a significantly larger approval rating than O’Malley. Unless he is asked a question about Baltimore, a smart O’Malley would try to steer clear of mentioning that he was the Mayor whose policies were blamed for the recent Baltimore riots.
Webb is probably the most conservative out of all of the Dems running, and it will probably show. Unless Democrats want someone who will reach across the aisle, this debate might be unsuccessful for Webb. There’s a chance that he says something that gives him a slight boost, but overall just look out for conservative nuggets that come from him.
Oh, Lincoln. He’s like the Jim Gilmore of the Democrats. He seems to want to make a difference, and he seems sincere, but he’s polling in last place. He just has no name recognition. The focus tonight will be far away from Chafee. While he will get some screen time, I don’t think he will cut in as much as people like Hillary or O’Malley. He might give good answers, but his name recognition after the debate will probably be the same.
Joe Biden isn’t officially running, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be mentioned. Expect at least one question about Uncle Joe, or some reference to the podium set out for him, in case he announces.
The moderation of CNN will be a stark contrast from the Republican debate. While beforehand, CNN openly said that they wanted the candidates to debate each other, this time, CNN has said they aren’t focused on the candidates debating each other as much as they are focused on hearing the candidates’ policies. Expect conservatives to get mad about how CNN handles the two debates much differently.