We now know firmly that the third Democratic debate, coming up on Sept. 12, hosted by ABC, will be held to just one night and feature only 10 qualifying candidates. The repercussions for tightening the qualifications and creating a single night event will mean that former vice president Joe Biden will face a stage full of his top competitors, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders. For the first two debates, with the large field of candidate split over two nights, not all of the biggest names appeared on stage at the same time.

For all intents and purposes, the entire Democratic field has been culled to only candidates polling above 2% support standing on the debate stage. There’s a still a lot of baggage in the field, and it’s arguable that the earlier debates should’ve been limited to 10 candidates, but this is the process created by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to deal with criticism from the 2016 process.

ABC News Democratic Primary Debate
Air Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019
Time: 8 pm ET (7 pm CT, 6 pm MT, 5 pm PT)
Aired On: ABC, Univision, ABCNews.com
Location: Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas
Moderators: George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Linsey Davis, and Jorge Ramos

The debate live stream will be available on the ABCNews.com website and apps, as well as Hulu Live, The Roku Channel, Facebook Watch, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube, Apple News, and Twitter.

Confirmed debate candidates

1. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
2. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
3. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.
4. Senator Kamala Harris of California
5. Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas
6. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
7. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
8. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
9. Businessman Andrew Yang
10. Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro

Biden will be sandwiched center-stage between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and a slew of other more progressive candidates. In fact, the only candidate aside from Biden carrying a more moderate message is Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, whose performance knocked Sen. Kamala Harris back a few pegs at the second debate, didn’t make the cut and will be watching from home next month.

Debate format similar to CNN

ABC has released the way they will keep the pace moving which seems to be a similar format to that used by CNN back in July.

Candidates will have one minute and 15 seconds for direct response to questions from the moderators and 45 seconds to respond to follow-up questions and rebuttals. However, there was no explicit word on whether candidates would be buzzed for time or have their future time curtailed if they choose to interrupt or go outside of their allotted time as was the case on CNN.

CNN moderators took some criticism in July for the way they cut off candidates in mid-sentence and generally treated the event as more of a “soundbite” contest since candidates had such little time to answer. ABC will be looking to provide a better balance but still give the large debate stage time to speak.

October debate could expand beyond 10 candidates

For some entirely inexplicable reason, the DNC has decided that the deadline for candidates to qualify for the fourth Democratic debate, happening in October, will extend beyond the September debate and could mean that the field will once again expand.

It’s entirely possible that Tulsi Gabbard or Tom Steyer could get a good poll between now and the October deadline which would punch their ticket to the fourth debate. Details for the October debate, such as a specific date, polling deadline, and host have not yet been announced.

The September debate should prove to be filled with fireworks, but the October debate, where many of the candidates will be in a do-or-die mindset, will likely be more crucial after the dust settles.


  1. Glad to see another one “bits the dust”-Gillibrand thankfully is gone and not missed.. The “clown car” will have only 10 occupants in this “food fight”. Creepy Old Joe, Pocahontas and Crazy Bernie will be arm wrestling for who can get the most minutes and profound statements in this debate.

  2. Nate, you said Dems that were on the debate stage were Politically Progressives. (Definition: In the modern era, a movement that identifies as progressive is “a social or political movement that aims to represent the interests of “ordinary people” through political change and the support of government actions)

    (A political movement that aims to represent the interestsof “Ordinary people”)

    Does progressive only refer to just the socialist agenda? Is the socialist political agenda progressive? Ask Venezuela, right?

    Is Trump’s opening up Anwar and making the US energy independent progressive for ordinary people? Or is that just business as usual?

    Does progressive mean proposing a policy which supports preventing cows from farting and planes from flying?

    • venezuela would be doing fine if the us and it’s cia was not doing everything possible to destroy it. for some reason the usa fights to the death liberty freedom and democracy in any other (and now our own even) country.

  3. Please ask Mr Yang if his american dividend will apply to military retiree’s as well? or are we (ironically) left out of our american dividend? we get retired pay for 20+ years service. So Mr Yang does it stack with the dividend or are you saying you will give for free to others, what it took us 20 years service to qualify for?

      • from what i understand it is not for anyone already getting a govt check (except for disability?) this won’t help welfare people one bit.. it just gives everyone what the welfare people aready get.

        • At Yang’s site, he explains that EVERYBODY gets the $1k–workers, retired, disabled, vets.


          The only people who don’t get the $1k on top of any other income/benefit are those receiving “Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI).”

          He says, “Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested program.” In other words, you get SSI based on need, and if you’re get

          If you get the $1k, you may not be able to show need. However, he says the good thing about that is that you get the $1k without jumping through the hoops required by SSI.

          SSI is for very few people. Here’s the description:

          AARP explains:

          You may qualify for monthly SSI payments if:

          you are 65 or older, blind or disabled;
          you are a U.S. citizen or lawful resident;
          and you have very limited income and financial resources.

          The SSI standard for limited income, in 2019, is income of up to $771 a month for an individual or $1,157 a month for a couple.


  4. joe wrote the patriot act and has been complicit in our nations decline for 30 years. A vote for joe is a vote for clinton / obama / bush / romney / kerry etc. That’s a legacy i’d like to see dead and buried. In fact if biden is the choice i will vote trump. (again)

  5. gabbard more than qualified the dnc seems to be quite corrupt. money and loyalty to the corrupt DNC/establishment seems to be what qualifies candidates not what the voters want. It has to be a cia poll to qualify? really?

    • Gabbard claimed to have 130,000 contributors as of Aug 2

      I have not been able to find the “approved” polls, but in the past four weeks, Gabbard met or surpassed 2% in ABC/Washington Post, Economist, Emerson, and CNN polls.

  6. again it seems to be down to sanders or trump as they shun gabbard. Seems the DNC must have war. I wish there was a 3rd choice.. nothing will change with the only choice being dems or republicans. wars will not end.. wealth inequity will not decrease, political corruption will be the norm. lobbyists will rule. the election sharades will continue. our votes being meaningless illusions of choice in a fake republic dominated by big money from banks and wallstreet.

    • I’m sure you saw that Bolton is now gone. Translation, Trump isn’t the war hawk Bolton and others are and thus sent Bolton packing.

      So war isn’t always s priority.

      I believe the Dems race is up to Biden to lose. It will be Joe and Trump.

        • I’m sorry for the late reply. Blame it on Disqus for not sending me your reply until now.

          Anyway, yes Hillary wasn’t digestible. She’d of allowed the sexual assaults by politicans and her Hollywood friends to continue on.

          Plus diplomatically she would have been a nightmare.

  7. they already snuck obama in as a “liberal progressive” who ended up just making 90% of the nations problems just get worse. Worst of all he changed nothing from bush.. and just made things worse topping off what bush couldnt get done (bush tax cuts thta destroy FDR new deal (that saved capitalism and hte nation the first time)) and of course romney care.. so voting for obama twice.. is like bush and romney and friends getting elected. what an absolute disaster that obama scam presidency was.. they snuck in a manchurian candidate. and that is why i fear warren.. or the lemon that gabbard exposed.. that we’re being tricked and shafted again. The only candidate i trust from the dems is the one who should have ran against President Trump last time. But for the cheating rigging DNC that tried to choose the president instead of the voters.

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