Televised political debates have received much attention by scholars in political communication and social psychology who study nonverbal cues in interpersonal communication and their impact on candidate evaluations. An abundance of political multimedia and new platforms have required leaders to develop an effective and unique communication “style” which may rely on nonverbal devices such as face and body. Emotions conveyed by expressive gestures of candidates during debates have been shown to elicit stronger reactions from the public than rhetorical statements alone. Candidates, for example, may exploit assertive and aggressive gestures to communicate their confidence and attract supporters. Existing studies, however, are based largely on manual coding of human gestures, which may not be scalable or reproducible. The main objectives of our paper are to investigate the role of body movements of candidates using a systematic and automated approach as well as understand the context and effects of gestures. For this analysis, we collected a dataset of political debate videos from the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries and analyzed facial expressions and gestures of candidates. Our preliminary analysis demonstrates that candidates employ gestures to varying extents, and the amount of body movement is correlated with emotions conveyed in the candidates’ facial expressions. We discuss our dataset, preliminary results, and future directions in the following sections.