Democratic U.S. presidential candidates SenatREUTERS

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are looking to move their campaign momentum into high gear on Thursday night as each brings a strategy for touting their strengths on an issue-by-issue basis.

For Clinton, the strategy hinges on limiting her opponent’s appeal by emphasizing her left-of-Sanders gun control record and reminding New Yorkers of her role representing them in the Senate, USA Today reported.

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"Most of the guns that are used in crimes and violence and killings in New York come from out of state," Clinton was quoted by CNN. "And the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont."


For Sanders, the debate will be an opportunity to broaden the senator’s appeal to minorities who have been seen to favor the Clinton campaign, the Observer reported.

"That’s what we’re going to do to win New York.We’re going to have to introduce Bernie to voters of color, to African-Americans and Latinos," Sanders campaign pollsterBen Tulchin told the Observer. "When we do, we make up a lot of ground, and we can compete."

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Sanders' campaign has also benefited from a perceived backlash to the state’s various corruption controversies, which helps his campaign more than Clinton’s, USA Today added.

The Clinton camp, though, has countered by reminding voters of Sanders' recent New York Daily News interview where he failed to explain specifically how he will carry out some of his promises to break up large banks, CNN stated.

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"I have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in New York, Sen. Sanders has had trouble answering questions," Clinton was quoted by CNN. "He has had trouble answering questions about his core issue, namely, dealing with the banks. He has had trouble answering foreign policy questions."

The debate starts on Thursday at 9 p.m. EST and will be carried by CNN.

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