Mid-Missouri watches first Democratic debate

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COLUMBIA - The first Democratic debate for the 2016 presidential election is putting virtual unknowns in the same arena as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Lincoln Chaffee, Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb round out the five candidates who took the stage and have experience ranging from Secretary of the Navy to serving as a member of the House of Representatives.

Rose Music Hall hosted a free Democratic Debate Watch Party. Doors opened an hour before the debate began at 7:30 p.m.

The event was sponsored by Mid-Missourians for Bernie Sanders but was meant to be open to everyone who wanted to learn about all candidates.

"This is absolutely open to all different kinds of people from all different kinds of backgrounds, we just want people to take part in their local politics, and their national politics too," said Persephone Dakopolos, the Campaign Director for Mid-Missourians for Bernie Sanders.

People who already knew who they supported attended but so did people who were currently undecided.

"I just came just to get a general perception how it's all going to play out and just see how it goes down. I don't have a pre-conceived notion of what's going to happen or an opinion even," said Thomas Heney, an event attendee.

Rose Music Hall had a large crowd and had screens set up both inside and outside.