By Stacy Smith


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What may be the most crucial debate of the 2020 primary season happens Tuesday night, right here on KDKA and CBS.

It is the debate between the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, several days before the South Carolina primary.

And it is the last debate before the most important day of the primary season, Super Tuesday.

That and more will be discussed as Stacy Smith and guests go “Around The Table – Campaign 2020.”

Joining Smith is former Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Jim Burn, the former chairman of the Democratic party in Pennsylvania.

Bernie Sanders is coming off a big win in the Nevada caucus. He won New Hampshire and basically tied in Iowa.

The moderate wing of the party does not want Sanders.

“Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans,” Pete Buttigieg said.

And, the campaign manager for Mike Bloomberg said: “If we choose a candidate who appeals to a small base, like senator sanders does, it will be a fatal error.”

Is this just campaign rhetoric or is there now a heightened sense of fear within the party?

“It’s a little bit of both. … Based on those quotes, he’s doing remarkably well,” Burn said. “His message is resonating to everyone.”

“The young people are pushing forward on this,” Corbett said.

The South Carolina primary is Saturday.

In the latest poll from CBS News, Joe Biden considers South Carolina his firewall state.

He has said from the beginning, this is the state that will propel him into Super Tuesday, and he does have a five-point lead over Sanders.

“For Vice President Biden, he support has eroded quite a bit,” Corbett said.

After South Carolina is Super Tuesday. This is not a winner-take-all scenario, but there are more than 1,300 delegates at stake.

Without getting to far ahead of ourselves, if none of the candidates have enough delegates to secure the nomination on the first ballot, this could be the most interesting convention since 1980, when Senator Ted Kennedy ran against President Carter.

“I think what we are seeing is a battle, this is not my phrase, for the future of the soul of the Democratic party,” Burn said.