What you need to know before tonight’s Dem debate

Tonight kicks off round two of the primary debates for the Democrats. Since so many are still running, they’ve been split into two groups again with ten candidates appearing on the stage each night.

CNN hosts this time, with Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper moderating.

Night one includes: author Marianne Williamson; Steve Bullock, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Tim Ryan; Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Sen. Bernie Sanders; Sen. Elizabeth Warren; John Delaney, Beto O’Rourke; and former Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Expect gun control to be a hot topic following the shooting in California a few days ago. Several candidates have already called for more gun control in light of the tragedy.

Two candidates to watch: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The two have very similar platforms, yet Warren seems to be doing better than Sanders this time. Will they turn on each other? The Sanders campaign says no, but when asked on CNN last week about what he admires about Warren, Sanders couldn’t come up with much of a response.

Hickenlooper seems to be trying to engage Warren though, even before the debate starts and often plays as one of the more moderate democrats in the field. Expect him to try to jump in, stand out and gain traction tonight.

Others who need a standout moment: Beto O’Rourke, who failed miserably during round one; Amy Klobuchar, who’s also trying to play to the moderate and independent crowd, yet isn’t getting much traction with millennials because she doesn’t want to give them free college; John Delany, Tim Ryan and Steve Bullock – they’re not household names and if they want to continue, they need to make a splash.

Will South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg be a target again? Things haven’t exactly gone well for him in his hometown after a police shooting and it was a tense moment between him and Swalwell last night, so it will be interesting to see if other candidates bring it up now that Swalwell is out.

Expect the controversy in Baltimore to come up both nights with lots of racism talk aimed at President Trump.

Where to watch: CNN will broadcast the debate starting at 8 p.m. EST.

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