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Candidates have one more chance

First was Andrew Yang. Then came U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. Finally, former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick.

Three casualties of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. Three who underperformed in the Granite State, and the first grouping of many that will ultimately yield to the frontrunners in the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process.

Right now, it looks as if U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are breaking out from the pack of the once-massive contingent of office-seekers.

Both performed well in New Hampshire, resonating with voters and capturing support that will slingshot them into the next round of contests, with the Nevada caucuses set for Feb. 22.

Before that, candidates will have another chance to get their message out on the debate stage, this time at a Las Vegas event on Feb. 19. The dynamic has changed, though, thanks to our first-in-the-nation contest.

It’s nitty-gritty time. Candidates now have a good idea of their actual prospects on gaining the nomination, and how they have to reposition themselves if they have fallen behind, like former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who had a meager showing considering she is from neighboring Massachusetts.

After Nevada, on to another debate in South Carolina on Feb. 25, with the Palmetto State’s primary set for Feb. 29.

The picture should become clear after Super Tuesday on March 3, when those in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado (caucus), Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota (caucus), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia head to the polls.

It’s clear the field in narrowing. Candidates, essentially, have one more chance between now and March 3 to inspire the electorate and make their case for why they should gain the nomination.

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