Sanders has wasted the chance to close the match in New York. He had to decline the offer and Clinton had to continue on his way. He would give a strong showing at the New Yorkers rejecting the debate. People would think: ‘Sanders has done well because Clinton is now in difficulty’, ‘Sanders is too magnanimous’, ‘Clinton wants the debate just because now it suits’.
While people would have to think: ‘If Sanders refused the debate means that he’s ahead of Clinton’, ‘Sanders no longer needs to compete because the numbers are on his side,’ ‘Clinton deserves to do the debate because, before his defeat in Nevada, she had no intention of making the debate ‘.
So, Sanders may lose a too important game. He’s being trusting too his skills and Clinton inability. He should remember that the dangers are around the corner and could come out defeated from the debate for some reason still unknown to us. In short, Clinton could prepare a trap to Sanders.
I personally believe that Sanders will win the debate but, in terms of votes, communication, psychology, election campaign, this is a strenght test that would serve to demonstrate with facts and with the assurance of who knows he can win, and that Americans are on his side rather than on the side of Clinton. In this way he would have also knocked the credibility of American pollsters creating a powerful frame that goes: ‘It’s useless to find out about the latest polls: they are all false, Bernie came out on top’.
And Bernie is actually ahead in the polls, whatever the polls say it, but this way he gives a chance for Clinton, revives her and revives her electorate that in these days it’s very demoralized and inclined to boycott the polls or to vote for Sanders.