The front-runners for the Democratic Party nomination for president will appear together in a live televised debate tonight.

The number of candidates has been cut in half for the third debate in Houston, Texas, with 10 due to slug it out.

On paper, not much has changed since candidates threw their hats into the ring at the start of the year.

Joe Biden, the former US vice-president, remains the clear front-runner, enjoying a double-digit poll lead for a campaign based around electability and the need to defeat Donald Trump.

Bernie Sanders, the 78-year-old democratic socialist, continues to enjoy a strong showing, building on a young, left-wing support base first gathered from his tilt against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

But there is one change over the last eight months: the rise of Elizabeth Warren.

The 70-year-old senator from Massachusetts has broken their dominance by pitching herself considerably to the left of Mr Biden, but slightly more moderate than Mr Sanders.

In the latest nationwide polls, she is up to about 18pc, just above Mr Sanders but still behind Mr Biden in the mid-20s.

Her remarkable surge is partly credited to a policy blitz, picking up the nickname of Elizabeth 'I have a plan for that' Warren.

She plans a wealth tax of 2pc on individuals with a net worth above $50m (€45m). She wants to break up giant tech companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google, arguing that they are too dominant. A $15 (€13) minimum wage and free college tuition are among her other policies. Ms Warren has also proved herself a formidable campaign performer.

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