New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson addresses the New Hampshire state Democratic convention Saturday.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN) - New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson tells CNN that he needs to do better in tomorrow night's Democratic Presidential Debate in New Hampshire. But the Democratic White House hopeful says he feels the format of the debate will be to his benefit.
Richardson spoke to reporters today, saying "this is a more relaxed debate. I'm going to be more relaxed. It's a longer debate. It's a more free-wheeling debate, but it's important for me to do well, because I need to break out."
Richardson made his comments before tonight's Iowa Democratic State Party Dinner in Cedar Rapids. Richardson and fellow Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd all flew out to Iowa Saturday afternoon to attend the dinner.
All three spoke this morning at the New Hampshire State Democratic Party Convention in Concord. The three will be joined tonight by Senator Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards.
Richardson is currently fourth in most national polls. He's at the top of the second tier of candidates, but trails front runners Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, and former senator John Edwards.
But Richardson thinks tomorrow night's debate can help him break out, saying "I'm moving up. My polls are gaining, but if I do well in this debate, I believe that I'll move into the first tier."
All eight Democratic candidates face off Sunday night on the campus of Saint Anselm College just outside Manchester, New Hampshire. CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader are sponsoring the debate, which kicks off at 7 p.m. ET.
It's the first of two debates at the same site. The Republican Presidential Candidates face off at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday night. Each debate is two hours long and will include questions from New Hampshire voters in the audience.
– CNN'S Dana Bash and Paul Steinhauser
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