Candidates square off in Democratic debate

KUSA - Sunday night was the final Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Hillary Clinton with a comfortable lead nationwide, but she's in danger of losing to Sen.  Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Early in the debate, Sanders and Clinton argued over gun control. On Saturday, Sanders said he supports stripping legal immunity from gun makers; immunity he voted for a decade ago.

9NEWS political experts watched the debate and gave their take on who came out on top. Democrat James Mejia and Republican Kelly Maher agreed on one thing: the timing of the debate wasn't the best for the fourth and final showdown between the candidates.

"This was a home game for Hillary. She really wrapped herself around the Obama flag tonight in Charleston. A different tact than we've seen in the past. She's polling at 70 percent among African Americans and I think that's going to be a very strong constituency for her leading into a general election," Mejia said.

"I think Hillary showed a lot of vulnerabilities tonight. Her cognitive dissonance talking about how much she hates rich people while simultaneously taking millions of dollars from them. And in addition to that, Bernie Sanders gaining a lot of traction shows us the Democrats are in," Maher said.

The fourth and final debate took place in Charleston, South Carolina just 14 days before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.

Clinton leads Sanders by 25 points nationally, according to the latest results from the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Democratic primary voters surveyed gave Clinton 59 percent, Sanders 34 percent and Martin O'Malley 2 percent. The margin of error is plus-minus 4.9 percentage points.

"Can't wait for Iowa," Mejia said.

"Ditto," Maher said.

(© 2016 KUSA)


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