ABC News has announced that the third Democratic primary debate, set for mid-September, will be held in the city of Houston, Texas. A specific venue has yet to be announced, though reports indicate that a location has been selected and ABC is moving forward with preparations for the Lone Star State to host a pivotal Democratic primary debate.
The slate of moderators and the debate format have not yet been announced.
When is the third Democratic debate?
The third debate will take place on Thursday, September 12, 2019, with a second potential day scheduled for Friday, September 13, 2019. Due to the increasingly stringent qualifications for this debate, it’s entirely likely that the second night could be scrapped if only 10 candidates make the cut for the first night.
Specific broadcast times will be released at a later date.
How can I watch the third Democratic debate?
The third debate is hosted by ABC News and will air live on your local ABC station as well as live on Univision in Spanish. The debate can also be streamed live on ABCNews.com for internet viewing.
The live stream is available on the ABCNews.com website and apps, as well as Hulu Live, The Roku Channel and Facebook Watch.
What are the qualifications for the third Democratic debate?
This is where things get sticky for some candidates who simply will not be able to make the cut for the third debate. The requirements, in terms of polling and fundraising, are being doubled which would mean that roughly half the field would immediately be cut from participating in the third debate.
In terms of polling support, candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada. Each poll submitted must be publicly released between June 28 and August 28 and be must be sponsored by a major polling organization recognized by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
In terms of fundraising and donors, candidates must have received donations from at least 130,000 unique donors over the course of the election cycle, with a minimum of 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. Qualifying donations must be received by the DNC by 11:59 p.m. on August 28.
Gone are the days of meeting one requirement or the other. For the third debate, candidates must meet both thresholds to earn a spot on the debate stage.
Why is Houston important?
Democrats have been working hard to push Texas out of the solidly red column and score a statewide win for many years. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke came close in 2018 by falling just short in his race against Sen. Ted Cruz. Democrats see Texas as a huge prize if the demographic shift eventually tilts the state somewhat less conservative and provides a chance for a pickup during a presidential year.
Holding a debate in Houston and driving up voter interest in Democratic candidates is a step toward that objective for the DNC. The prospects, however, that Texas votes for a Democrat in a presidential year are still slim, but the trend has some Republicans worried.
Follow all the latest debate information at the 2020 Democratic Debate schedule page.