The biggest question of Friday's debate is why is it happening at all

Jeva Lange

Friday's good for a lot of things: Being on your mind. Being in love. Getting down. What it is not good for, though, is a debate.

Still, here we are, just a few hours out from the eighth Democratic debate, which will air from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET during what is known in the TV industry as the "Friday night death slot," where shows typically go to die. While the debate is ostensibly programmed to help voters hear from candidates one last time before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, the timing couldn't be worse, coming at the end of a week that has lasted — scientifically speaking — almost a decade. "Everybody wants to get out of town today," Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell (D) told Fox News' Chad Pergram. "This has been one of the worst weeks I can remember."

The Hill goes as far as to wonder who the debate is even supposed to benefit. "Ratings for debates historically decrease throughout each cycle," Max Greenwood notes, adding that "[t]here are also signs that voters are increasingly committed to their candidates of choice. A Monmouth University poll released on Thursday found that, in New Hampshire, nearly half of likely Democratic primary voters — 49 percent — are certain about whom they will vote for on Tuesday."

The National Review's Jim Geraghty adds that "I have not found any previous cases of presidential primary debates held on a Friday night, although it’s possible I’ve missed one." New York's Sarah Jones was even blunter: "It's a human rights violation to schedule a primary debate on a Friday night," she tweeted.

The Associated Press was also wondering what the whole point is. "Will this debate have real impact, or will the people of New Hampshire be otherwise occupied on a Friday night?" they asked. Just a hunch, but the latter seems like a safe bet.

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