Former Vice President Joe Biden thinks and Sen. Amy Klobuchar listens while Tom Steyer makes a point at the tenth Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images.

Candidates spoke past their allotted time, punched the air, talked over each other and at times looked into the camera and directly addressed the American public and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, the last before Saturday's primary and Super Tuesday a few days following.

Why it matters: South Carolina's contest on Saturday is a measure of African-American support for the 2020 contenders. It's the make-or-break state for former Vice President Joe Biden after he underperformed in the first three contests. It's also a chance to check Sen. Bernie Sanders' momentum, which has eaten into Biden's lead in the state and propelled Sanders to the front of the pack.

Here's a look at the scene:

CBS News hosted Tuesday's debate in Charleston, South Carolina, with Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell moderating. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Biden's supporters rallied for the candidate outside the debate, the Gaillard Center. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
The candidates included billionaire Tom Steyer, who had failed to qualify for the last debate. Photo: LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images.
Reporters watch the debate from the spin room. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images.
Sanders and Biden together on stage. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.
Former second lady Jill Biden works the crowd ahead of the debate. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who'd been the main target of last week's debate, took some hits. His nondisclosure agreements were raised, as well as his record on stop-and-frisk. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images.
Tom Steyer and Sen. Amy Klobuchar try to gain the moderators' attention to make a point. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Go deeper: Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Go deeper

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats spent the early months of the coronavirus pandemic urging their base to vote absentee. But as threats of U.S. Postal Service delays, Team Trump litigation and higher ballot rejection rates become clearer, many are pivoting to promote more in-person voting as well.

Why it matters: Democrats are exponentially more likely to vote by mail than Republicans this year — and if enough mail-in ballots are lost, rejected on a technicality or undercounted, it could change the outcome of the presidential election or other key races.

New interactive tool shows Biden's mail voting danger

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Voters who disapprove of President Trump most strongly are by far the most likely to vote by mail in the presidential election, according to an Axios analysis of exclusive data from SurveyMonkey and Tableau.

Why it matters: The new data shows just how strongly the mail-in vote is likely to favor Joe Biden — with potentially enormous implications in the swing states due to the greater risk of rejection with mail ballots.

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Reopening the ACA debate is politically risky for GOP

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation, The Cook Political Report; Notes: Those losing insurance includes 2020 ACA marketplace enrollment and 2019 Medicaid expansion enrollment among newly-eligible enrollees. Close races are those defined as "Toss up" or "Lean R/D"; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The sudden uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act could be an enormous political liability for Republicans in key states come November.

Between the lines: Millions of people in crucial presidential and Senate battlegrounds would lose their health care coverage if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, as the Trump administration is urging it to.

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