As candidates descend on Drake University in Iowa for the last Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the front runners and the hopefuls looking to make a splash. A rift that began cracking between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Waren has exploded open into a full-on battle over allegations of sexism against Sanders. Was the attack timed for the debate to raise the issue on stage? Some analysts are speculating that Warren intended to make this an issue and chose her timing carefully.

With a lot riding on this debate, here are all the pertinent details such as start time, live streams, and where you can tune in to the broadcast of the debate sponsored by CNN and the Des Moines Register.

CNN/Des Moines Register Democratic Debate (7th Debate)
 9 pm ET (8 pm CT, 7 pm MT, 6 pm PT)
 Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Watch On: CNN
Location: Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa
Sponsors: CNN, Des Moines Register

Debate Full Video

Update: CNN has chosen to remove the debate from YouTube and currently only make it available to watch in full at the link below from

Full Video Link:

On TV: The debate will broadcast exclusively on CNN for cable/satellite subscribers.

Streaming: The debate can be streamed at for free without requiring a login or cable/satellite subscription. The debate can also be streamed at 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.

Debate Candidates

There will be six candidates on stage tonight in Iowa for this pivotal debate. Here is the list, in order from right to left as the will appear on stage at their podiums:

  • 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

The podium order is based on polling data in Iowa where Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden currently share the top position, followed by Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, with Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer flanking the group on the ends.

The trio of Sanders, Warren, and Biden will likely rule the night in terms of attention and questions, especially with the backdrop of the deepening battle between the two progressive senators for the left-wing base of the party heading into the caucuses on February 3.

Debate Moderators

The debate will be moderated by a panel of three anchors and reporters from CNN and the Des Moines Register. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will headline the debate and serve as chief moderator while Abby Phillip and Brianne Pfannenstiel will serve questions on various topics throughout the evening.

  • Wolf Blitzer – CNN primetime anchor
  • Abby Phillip – CNN political correspondent
  • Brianne Pfannenstiel – Des Moines Register chief political reporter

What to watch for?

The headlines have been coming fast and furious in recent days as the race kicks into high gear. There is a battle for the center-left, and a battle for the far left of the Democratic Party, and each candidate is working a strategy to find a lane to victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Will Sanders and Warren draw blood?

On Monday, CNN reported that in a 2018 meeting between the two, Sanders told Warren he believed a woman could not win the presidency, according to four sources. Sanders quickly disputed the account calling it “ludicrous.”  The situation appeared to be de-escalating until Monday when Warren released a statement backing descriptions of the meeting made by the story’s sources. Warren described it this way: “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”

Clearly, this topic will be raised, but the question of how far either candidate will push the envelope remains to be seen. Attacks sometimes backfire and cause damage to the candidate going on offense so it’s a tight rope to walk.

Foreign policy may play a larger role

With the recent headlines over President Trump’s decision to order a strike on a senior Iranian military commander and noted sponsor of terrorism, the foreign policy portion of the debate will be heavily weighted toward the Middle East. This is a topic that can be good and bad for Joe Biden, given his experience and liabilities for his Iraq war vote. This is also an area where Pete Buttigieg, a US Navy Reserve veteran, can speak his brand of foreign policy to issues of the day and offer a new vision to voters.

The lack of diversity on stage

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. As a result, the remaining all-white list of candidates will be the least ethnically diverse debate stage so far, something the DNC was hoping to avoid from the onset.

Candidates make a final Iowa pitch

At the moment, polls show a four-way tie, give or take a few points, for Sanders, Biden, Warren, and Buttigieg. As of late, Biden and Sanders have surged in Iowa, both sitting at 20%, while Buttigieg remains in third, at 18%, and Warren in fourth at 16%, according to the RCP average of Iowa polls.

Any of the four could have a breakout night which bumps them up a few notches into the lead in Iowa. The race is teetering right now, though it appears Sanders and Biden are in the best position with 20 days to go before the Iowa caucuses.

More Information

The storylines heading into tonight vary wildly and anything can happen on stage. The next Democratic debate beyond tonight is set for February 7 in New Hampshire, just days after the Iowa caucuses.

Bookmark the debate schedule page and the 2020 primary schedule to stay informed and subscribe to our site notifications. We will have the full debate video available at some point after the debate airs tonight.