Here comes the first direct face-off between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

hillary clinton bernie sanders

REUTERS/Randall Hill

For the first time this presidential race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) will face each other one-on-one Thursday night.

The two Democratic candidates are set to take the stage for the MSNBC-hosted Democratic debate. It's the first contest without former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who dropped out Monday night after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.

The debate comes less than a week before the primary in New Hampshire, where Sanders leads Clinton by significant margins in almost every recent poll.Advertisement

The campaigns have continued to trade barbs leading up to the debate.

While the Sanders campaign has suggested that there may have been a concerted effort by some Democrats in Iowa to keep the senator from winning the caucuses, Clinton's campaign has accused Sanders of misstating endorsements from key New Hampshire media outlets. The two also indirectly sniped at each other during a CNN town-hall event Wednesday.

The debate begins at 9 p.m. EST on MSNBC. Check back here at Business Insider for full coverage of the debate.

Watch below: