As Summer finally bids us farewell and we head into the fall campaign season, here’s a look at the upcoming Democratic debates in October, November, and December, and what they will mean for the 2020 Democratic primary field.
As we have meticulously chronicled on our debate schedule page, there is one debate per month scheduled throughout the last three months of 2019. The next debate is coming up on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.
Here’s what we know so far about each of the upcoming fall debates including how to watch, which candidates will be on stage, and where the debate is being held.
October Democratic Debate (Debate #4)
The fourth debate in the process will take place at Otterbein University in Ohio which is located just outside the capital near Columbus. This debate is being sponsored by CNN and The New York Times, both of which will share in the moderator duties. The debate will likely air at 8 pm ET.
Watch On: CNN
Time: 8 pm ET (5 pm PT)
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019
Location: Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio
Moderators: Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, and Marc Lacey
Despite earlier reports that the DNC would split the event over two nights if more than 10 candidates qualified, the October debate will only take place on one night with every qualifying candidate on stage.
The full candidate list includes Former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, businessman Tom Steyer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, businessman Andrew Yang, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
The October debate qualifications state that a candidate will need to have at least 2 percent support in three qualifying polls AND provide evidence of at least 130,000 individual donations from a minimum of 400 different donors in at least 20 states.
November Democratic Debate (Debate #5)
Not much is known yet about the Democratic debate which will take place in November. A date hasn’t been released, but it is likely to fall somewhere within the first two weeks of the month to avoid getting close to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The November debate qualifications will make it tougher for some candidates to get on stage. According to the DNC, to qualify for the November debate, candidates will need to hit 3% in at least four national or early-state polls — or 5% in two early state polls. The donor threshold has been increased to 165,000 unique donors, with at least 600 each in at least 20 states.
Most candidates, such as Biden, Harris, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg should easily qualify for the November debate. O’Rourke is right on the cusp but should qualify by the deadline.
The increased qualifications could make it harder for Booker, Yang, Klobuchar, Castro, and Steyer.
No TV network or location has been released for the November Democratic debate at this time.
December Democratic Debate (Debate #6)
Even less is known about the December debate than is know about the November debate. The December event will take place sometime between the first week of December and the Christmas holiday, but a specific date hasn’t yet been released. The December debate is likely to take place within the first two weeks of the month to avoid getting further into the holiday season.
It’s also unknown whether the December debate qualifications will be the same as the November debate qualifications, or whether the December debate stage will be culled even further. It’s likely that the November and December debates will both follow the same debate qualifications.
According to DNC Chairman Tom Perez, the debate requirements will continue to tighten into November and December:
“As we get toward November, December, obviously we will continue to raise the bar of participation, because that’s what we’ve always done,” Perez said earlier this month on “ABC This Week.” “As we get closer and closer, people have to make progress. Two percent, quite frankly, is a very reasonable bar.”
For November and December, it’s likely that campaigns will have to produce numbers of at least 2%, or higher, in many different polls, to continue claiming a spot on the debate stage.
Follow the Democratic primary debate schedule page for the latest information.