MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The fourth Democratic presidential debate is slated for Tuesday evening, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar may need to have a stand-out night to stay in the contest.

The debate will take place in Ohio, with 12 presidential hopefuls sharing the stage. It’ll be the first debate since Congress opened an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It’s been 33 days since the last Democratic presidential candidate debate.

In previous debates, the candidates were very reluctant to talk about impeachment. But after the White House revealed Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine, a majority of Americans now support impeachment, and so do the candidates.

The debate could be a make-or-break moment for Klobuchar. She continues to poll at the lower end of the pack. Experts say Klobuchar needs to make a splash to keep voters and donors interested. Klobuchar’s been working hard to make herself a moderate alternative to liberals like Elizabeth Warren.

So far, she has not qualified for November’s debate. Fundraising and polling thresholds have been bumped up once again for that debate. Right now, only eight candidates have qualified for the fifth debate.

At the center of the stage will be former Vice President Joe Biden. He only recently came out in favor of impeachment. Next to him will be Warren, who is gaining ground on Biden in some national polls. In fact, in a new George Washington University Politics poll, Warren topped the field with 28 percent of the vote, with Bernie Sanders coming in second with 21 percent and Joe Biden in third with 18 percent.

This debate will also be the first big event for Sanders since he suffered a heart attack two weeks ago.

Biden was once considered unstoppable, and the most electable candidate against Trump.

Pat Kessler

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