With the debate coming up on Tuesday this week, here’s all the information you need heading into the first Democratic presidential primary debate of 2020. The narratives have been morphing over the past few days as the rift grows between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Both candidates seem to have realized that there’s a chance they could split the progressive vote and hand a victory to former vice president Joe Biden if they can’t consolidate a solid base.
With that in the backdrop, here are the details on the next Democratic debate set for Tuesday, Jan. 14, sponsored by CNN and the Des Moines Register from Drake University in Iowa.
CNN/Des Moines Register Democratic Debate (7th Debate)
Time: 9 pm ET (8 pm CT, 7 pm MT, 6 pm PT)
Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Watch On: CNN
Live Stream: Election Central, CNN.com, DesMoinesRegister.com
Location: Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa
Sponsors: CNN, Des Moines Register
How can I watch the debate?
On TV: The debate will broadcast exclusively on CNN for cable/satellite subscribers.
Streaming: The debate can be streamed at CNN.com for free without requiring a login or cable/satellite subscription. The debate can also be streamed at DesMoinesRegister.com for free as well. We will also provide a live stream embed here at Election Central if it’s available.
Viewers can also watch the debate on CNN’s apps for iOS and Android as well as Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV.
Who is moderating?
The debate will be moderated by a panel of three, with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer leading the coverage:
- Wolf Blitzer – CNN primetime anchor
- Abby Phillip – CNN political correspondent
- Brianne Pfannenstiel – Des Moines Register chief political reporter
Which candidates will be there?
At first, it appeared the stage might be slim with only five candidates, but then billionaire activist Tom Steyer got some last-minute polling surges, courtesy of some Fox News polls, and wound up easily qualifying just a day before the deadline last week.
Here’s the list of candidates, from left to right, as they will be standing on stage:
- Businessman and activist Tom Steyer
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
- Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
How did candidates qualify for the debate?
The January debate qualifications required candidates to have at least 225,000 individual donations. In addition, candidates needed to get 5% in at least four national or early-voting state polls, or at least 7% in two early-voting state polls, which include Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. The deadline was set for January 10 to meet the requirements.
Which candidates are left out?
Notably missing from the debate will be businessman Andrew Yang who was on the stage in December, but missed the polling threshold needed for January. Sen. Cory Booker also missed the cut for January.
Yang last month called on the Democratic National Committee to commission polls directly in an effort to increase the diversity of participants in the upcoming debate. The DNC declined Yang’s request.
Neither Booker nor Yang received high enough to support in recent polls to earn them a debate spot on Tuesday night.
Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has the needed poll numbers but since he isn’t accepting or soliciting individual donations, he has not met the fundraising requirements and therefore will not be debating on Tuesday.
What topics will be debated?
The smaller debate stage will likely each candidate more time to speak to current events. Crucial Democratic topics like healthcare, economic inequality and education will almost definitely come up as they have at past debates.
Other crucial issues that will likely lead off the night include rising tensions between Iran and the United States and continuing unrest in the Middle East. This portion will be played with the backdrop of Joe Biden’s vote in favor of the Iraq invasion in 2002 which could become a point of contention.
The impeachment topic will also be discussed as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to delay sending the articles of impeachment passed by the House over to the U.S. Senate. Several of the candidates, as Senators, will be jurors for a trial in the Senate if that occurs and they will be asked to opinion on the matter as it stands now.
Watch for the issue of healthcare and Medicare For All to continue as a flashpoint between moderates like Biden and Klobuchar against progressive candidates like Warren and Sanders. This topic has proved to be a dividing line in prior debates.
Also, this debate will likely be Amy Klobuchar’s chance to make a case for her candidacy playing the niche as a Midwestern moderate, similar to Pete Buttigieg.
The Iowa Caucuses are set for Monday, February 3.
Where can I stay updated?
Follow our 2020 Democratic Debate schedule page for all the latest details. We will have more information and live stream links on Tuesday to bring you the debate live in the evening. Also, bookmark the 2020 Primary Schedule page for the latest on primaries and caucuses heading into February and beyond.