The top ten Democratic candidates for President took the stage in Houston, Texas, for a one-night event aired on ABC. For the first time in any of the debates up to this point, all the top polling candidates were on stage at the same time including former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Below you will find a direct embed of the debate and links to alternate sources where the full video will be available for viewing.

Debate Details

Air Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019
Location: Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas
Moderators: George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Linsey Davis, and Jorge Ramos

Full Debate Video

The video below comes courtesy of ABC News via Facebook. The full debate video can also be viewed on YouTube.

Transcript: Third Democratic Debate Transcript

September Debate Candidates

These ten candidates participate in the third Democratic debate, in order on stage from left to right:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Cory Booker
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Former VP Joe Biden
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Kamala Harris
Businessman Andrew Yang
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Former Hud Secretary Julian Castro

Debate Analysis

The third Democratic debate started with a three-way brawl over healthcare policy. Joe Biden went on the offense early against the “Medicare-for-all” plans from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Biden tried to be more aggressive at the prior debates, but this was the first time his points seemed to land, putting Sanders and Warren on their heels over the question of tax increases to pay for their plans.

From there, the discussion became more heated over Biden’s defense of the Affordable Care Care under President Obama. At one point, Julian Castro accused Biden of forgetting a statement he made minutes ago, taking a clear swipe at the former vice president’s age.

The ongoing question of how much Biden can be tied, and tries to tie himself, to the Obama administration was also a hotly debated topic. Biden held his own during the fray and he clearly came to play a much stronger game than prior debates.

These short paragraphs don’t do the event justice and we will have further analysis coming out later today.

Next Democratic Debate

The next Democratic debate is scheduled for two nights, on October 15 and 16, set for a venue in Ohio. The Democratic National Committee has not yet named the broadcast partner or a specific venue. So far, 11 candidates have qualified for the October debate, the fourth debate in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Follow the 2020 Democratic Debate schedule page for all the upcoming details.


  1. Shame on the DNC for rigging the debate and excluding Gabbard who polled better than some of the other candidates. Shameful! No better than the GOP!

      • Joe Biden? Are you kidding me! Although a ‘nice guy’, he’s been on the wrong side of history throughout his career and he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’s not the one to beat Trump. If DNC goes with Biden; they will lose. Warren is establishment through and through.

    • We don’t know what polls the DNC chose to use. But what they should have done is disclose what polls they used at the time of the debate–and then use different polls for the next debate. I’m not sure why they didn’t disclose upfront. It would have avoided a lot of complaints, like this one.

      • YouGov and The Economist had Gabbard in a dead heat with Harris and both women had more than Julian Castro. Gabbard was robbed by a corrupt DNC. They want someone who will play ball. Sanders and Gabbard won’t.

        • I have been searching, trying to find what polls the DNC used to decide who would be on the debate stage. While many articles said that the process is transparent, I wasn’t able to find which polls were used in the decision–until now.

          Finally, after bouncing from site to site, for weeks, I found this:

          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 Aug. 28 and be must be sponsored by one or more of the following organizations approved by the DNC: The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, the Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and Winthrop University.

          That’s a pretty wide range of polls. There had to be some guidelines. You can’t have someone look good in just “Bob’s Poll” and qualify. While most public articles didn’t bother to list these polls, it had been announced in advance–and all the campaigns knew which polls would be considered.

          If the candidates had a problem with the list of polls, they should have complained when they were announced by the DNC–not after the candidate failed to qualify in those polls.

          Also, it should be noted, using your own criterion, that in the latest Economist/YouGov poll, Gabbard only garnered 1%, with Harris at 6%.

  2. Met a stranger at the lake last weekend, in Co, from Burlington, VT. I asked where she was from and the moment she said Burlington, VT, I had to ask her about Bernie Sanders. She told me Bernie Sanders transformed an ailing Burlington. She stated he, much like he is doing now, addressed class inequity and infrastructure in disrepair, caused by a previous mayor, by addressing, door to door, the plight of the poor, the police, seniors and teachers. She told me she wouldn’t want to vote for anyone but Bernie in 2020. She trusted him. Pretty good info and support coming directly from a constituent; for what it’s worth.

    My take on this debate: few are genuine. Can’t stand reactionary and snobbish Klobuchar and Harris. They, Booker, and Buttigieg are all DNC bootlickers and disingenuous. Beto is also a bootlicker but at least likable. Biden may be a nice guy but isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and certainly not presidential material. DNC would be making a grandiose mistake with Biden opposing Trump. Maybe it’s me, but Castro has an identical twin and couldn’t that be an identity problem/crisis for any presidency? Not that I find Castro the least bit impressive. Yang doesn’t stand a chance. That leaves Sanders and Warren. I believe Warren is establishment and a party player but is more likable and her appeal is more genuine. DNC would be wise to ditch all the others on the stage and go with Sanders or Warren. I still like Gabbard. Hoping Gabbard will garner enough support in the DNC’s ‘nationally recognized polls’. DNC hasn’t learned a thing.

      • After vilifying teachers for years; everyone loves them now and wants to pay them…finally. BUT, who’s addressing charter schools (and vouchers) destroying public education? Although he didn’t mention it, Sanders has previously stated a moratorium on charter schools for transparency and accountability. Castro indicated holding them accountable. About $1B wasted on under performing charters or charters which were funded but never actually opened. Parents need to stop sending their kids to charters (using vouchers) and say NO to state testing. School choice is no choice at all if it robs 95% of American school children, currently served in traditional public education, of a quality, free and equitable education. Fully fund traditional public education; it’s a public good. Stop reinventing the wheel for profit.

        • There has been lots of talk about “valuing” teachers and wanting to give them pay commensurate with their importance and effort. You’ll find this talk every time there is a teacher shortage. Once enough kids decide to be teachers, the talk ends, and teachers are once again ignored.

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