It’s the debate that Bernie Sanders always wanted, and one that Joe Biden simply needs to endure. It’s also a debate that Sanders vowed he would take part in, a day after suffering another round of steep losses to the former vice president, telling reporters in Burlington Wednesday, “On Sunday, I very much look forward to the debate in Arizona with my friend, Joe Biden.” In the two-man race, it is Biden who is currently winning the popular vote and leading in the all-important delegate hunt, after a stunning political revival at the tail end of the first four early nominating contests, with at least 819 delegates estimated for Biden and 675 for Sanders so far. But the matchup, hosted by CNN and Univision, also comes as the entire presidential contest is upended by a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, thrust the 2020 campaign into unchartered virtual terrain, in which the candidates are campaigning without campaigning, shifting to online events, instructing all employees to work from home or telework, and grounding field operations to a halt. Even the debate itself was moved from Phoenix, Arizona to CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C. “out of an abundance of caution”

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