Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

Just days after the Republican presidential hopefuls squared off in Las Vegas, the Democrats will have their turn in New Hampshire on Saturday. The party’s next debate round — hosted by ABC News — will take place at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, which is also the site of a GOP primary debate in February. Front-runner Hillary Clinton will take center stage at the event, flanked by rivals Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Sanders has the advantage of being in familiar New England territory and will likely find a supportive audience. The Independent is enjoying relatively strong numbers in the upcoming Iowa caucuses, according to a recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll that shows him trailing by only nine points and within striking distance of the former secretary of state. But in a general election survey by NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Clinton has a much stronger position, beating out leading GOP candidate Donald Trump by 13 points.

While Trump grabbed headlines and challenged the Republican establishment, both Clinton and Sanders remained largely on the sidelines when it came to weighing in on the brash businessman’s policies. But after a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2 that left 14 people dead, Trump called for an all-out ban on Muslims entering the country until America’s leaders could “figure out what is going on.” That proposal drew tough talk from the two, who have labeled the media mogul as “dangerous” and a “demagogue.”

Clinton has also been critical of GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been inching up in the polls and is in the lead in Iowa, for his promise to carpet bomb Islamic State terrorists “into oblivion.” She says Cruz and some of her Republican opponents are playing into the terror network’s hands and not offering viable foreign policy solutions, while touting her own experience in national security.

Sanders has also outlined his plan for fighting ISIS by calling for an international coalition of ground and air forces led by Muslim nations. He says protecting the U.S. will take more screening of immigrants and better intelligence coordination with other countries. And while he believes the terrorist organization is an immediate threat to America, Sanders says the planetary crisis of climate change is potentially even more serious.

To see Saturday’s debate live at 8 p.m. ET and for all the latest news on the presidential candidates, go to

By Paul Martella


The final Republican presidential primary debate of 2015 will look very similar to the four previous GOP match-ups this year with front-runner Donald Trump taking center stage both literally and figuratively. The real estate mogul will be joined in Las Vegas Tuesday night by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. But Tuesday’s contest — hosted by CNN — will likely sound much different than the prior debates as the nation’s focus has turned to security and foreign policy in light of recent deadly terror attacks at home and abroad.

In response to the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, Trump immediately called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. until our country’s leaders can “figure out what is going on,” a move that drew both praise and condemnation. The proposal is resonating with some in his party according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which shows that 42 percent of Republicans support the plan. Another 77 percent say although the businessman can come off as brash, they like what he’s saying.

But the idea of implementing a ban on Muslims doesn’t sit well with most Americans, according to the same NBC/WSJ poll. Some accuse Trump of playing into the terrorists’ hands and inflaming fear of Islam. The billionaire and his proposal got a sharp tongue-lashing from the GOP establishment, which has had to tread very carefully in trying to reel back Trump for fear of alienating his supporters.

Frustration within Trump’s own party may be starting to affect his numbers in the all-important Iowa caucuses, which are just seven weeks away. A poll by The Des Moines Register has Ted Cruz leading the Republican race by 10 percentage points over Trump. The two have largely steered clear of attacks on each other to this point, but cracks in their relatively congenial relationship are starting to show.

GOP rivals are trying to steal some of the spotlight in the wake of the carnage in southern California. Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio have hit the talk show circuit to outline their strategies in fighting ISIS. Trump has been critical of President Obama’s efforts to battle the terrorist network and is positioning himself as the best candidate to keep the country safe.

One point the Republican presidential hopefuls can agree on after the recent mass killings: gun control. All say new legislation on the issue isn’t warranted and they will defend the Second Amendment’s provision of the right to bear arms.

To see Tuesday’s debate live at 6 p.m. ET and for all the latest news on the presidential candidates, go to

By Paul Martella