Probably not. While there is fresh fodder for the two candidates to discuss—Bernie Sanders’s controversial remarks about Wall Street to the Daily News, Hillary Clinton’s unfortunate “C.P. time” skit with Bill de Blasio—the Democratic debates usually devolve into exercises in repetition. From the beginning, the two candidates have been so well-defined, so distinct from one another, that the debates can sometimes feel like an interweaving of stump speeches. Unlike the Republican race, it’s hard to think of a debate moment that has altered the Democratic primary in any significant way.
So while Sanders drew an impressive 27,000 supporters to a rally in Washington Square Park last night, the trajectory of the race is unlikely to change as New Yorkers head to the ballot box on Tuesday. Clinton’s lead in the polls has been very consistent. Her base of support—though not as dominant as it was in the 2008 cycle, when Barack Obama held his own bursting-to-capacity rally in Washington Square Park—remains formidable, particularly in New York City and the surrounding suburbs.
Some, like David Axelrod, are expecting a “testy affair” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard tonight, since it’s in Sanders interest to go aggressively after Clinton. But if it’s in Clinton’s interest to stay the course, then I can just as easily see tonight’s debate being like the ones that came before it.