'Sin City' sets the scene for Democrats' first 2016 debate
The neon lights and bustle of the famed Las Vegas strip set the scene Tuesday for the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle — a veritable political fight night. Candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee tonight took their turn in front of the cameras in the first of six scheduled primary debates. On the stage in Nevada, an early primary voting state, Clinton tried to widen her lead as the front-runner while relative unknowns like Webb and Chafee took the opportunity to try to gain a significant foothold in the race.
The face-off took place at the Wynn Las Vegas, a premier hotel and resort where preparations were long been underway. The stage was set, the lights adjusted, and the wires taped down. The Wynn housed not just candidates, supporters, and staff, but throngs of reporters, as well.
In the hours leading up to the start of the debate, reporters jostled to speak with the candidates and any other political figures they found. Candidates worked to maintain their composure in those crucial hours as they rehearsed their best sound bites. As with every debate, they were tested not only by their fellow candidates but the press corp as well — in addition to facing blinding flashes fired off by numerous photographers. It isn’t often that these candidates are in the same building, under the same spotlight.
Redux’s Mark Peterson was on assignment for MSNBC and captured the highs and lows of the debate. Refresh this page for ongoing updates and all the latest photos.