Democratic debate at UWM: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders to face off days after New Hampshire

MILWAUKEE -- In November, Milwaukee played host to the Republican presidential candidates for a debate at the Milwaukee Theatre. On February 11th, Milwaukee will be in the spotlight once again, as the Democratic presidential candidates debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"The people want real change," Bernie Sanders said.

"You (the voters) are the reason we are here, and the reason we are going to win," Hillary Clinton said.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Sanders and Clinton are fired up after the first-in-the-nation primary election in New Hampshire this week. The debate in Milwaukee comes just days after Sanders declared victory in that primary.

Kim Engels, a Sanders supporter from Wauwatosa

"To have that kind of momentum that he wins New Hampshire by over 20 points, I think that`s a big deal. We`re just trying to piggyback off that momentum," Kim Engels, a Sanders supporter from Wauwatosa said.

On the eve of the Democratic presidential debate in Milwaukee, dozens showed up on the city's south side to hear about how they can help the Sanders campaign.

Organizers had to get more chairs -- and eventually, they ran out of chairs. And supporters would only see a staff member from the campaign.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton

Sanders himself won't get to Milwaukee until Thursday.

"The fact that he`s here in our city, that generates momentum, that gets people excited. His presence stimulates enthusiasm," Engels said.

Hillary Clinton's local volunteers were dealt a blow by the results Tuesday, February 9th in New Hampshire. But Clinton says she's ready for a nationwide campaign, and so are her supporters.

"We knew it was never going to be a shoo-in for the first woman president. She`s willing to take the fight all the way to the end, and we`re willing to fight with her," Jerry Lynn, a Clinton supporter said.

Jerry Lynn, a Clinton supporter

The good news for Clinton supporters is that the former Secretary of State has strong bases of support in the coming states.

Sanders is trying to make inroads with minority voters -- meeting with Al Sharpton on Wednesday.

Clinton also has work to do -- appealing to younger voters, who are siding with her so far.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

"For the Hillary supporters, it`s the second time she`s come to UWM this campaign, so we know what the deal is. We`re ready for her when she comes here," Lynn said.

Maria Hamilton, the mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by a former Milwaukee police officer in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee in April of 2014 will be Clinton's guest at the debate.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin will be in Milwaukee for the debate to support Clinton as well.

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