The fifth Democratic presidential primary debate takes place Wednesday night in Atlanta, and 10 candidates will take the stage to make their case to the American people.
The debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, will take place in the shadow of televised impeachment hearings in Washington. Hours before the debate’s start time, officials, including the US ambassador to the European Union, publicly appeared before the House Intelligence Committee.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg enters debate night after emerging as the clear leader in the most recent CNN/Des Moines Register Iowa poll. Like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who entered the October debate with momentum, Buttigieg could face more direct attacks from his opponents during Wednesday night’s event given his increased standing in the race.
Since the last debate, three candidates have suspended their campaigns: former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick also launched a late-entry presidential bid, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now considering getting into the race. These moves signal the Democratic primary race continues to be unsettled 75 days out from Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
What time is the debate?
The debate will air live at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday from Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. It will run for two hours.
How can I watch it?
The debate will be broadcast exclusively on MSNBC and will also stream for free on MSNBC.com and washingtonpost.com, as well as on NBC News and The Washington Post’s mobile apps, according to the Democratic National Committee. Audio of the debate will be available on SiriusXM Channel 118, and TuneIn.
Get ready for the debate all day on CNN.com and stay with us for real-time news, analysis and fact-checking during and after the debate. CNN will have live TV programming breaking down the biggest moments and story lines from the debate after it concludes.
Who is debating?
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
- South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
- California Sen. Kamala Harris
- Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
- Businessman Tom Steyer
- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- Businessman Andrew Yang
Who is moderating?
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell and Kristen Welker, as well as Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker, will serve as moderators.
Who didn’t make the cut?
- Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
- Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
- Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
- Author Marianne Williamson
- Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
- Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak
How was the stage decided?
The DNC has progressively raised the qualifying thresholds for the primary Democratic debates that began in June. In order to make the November stage, candidates had to reach 3% in at least four DNC-approved national or early state polls or at least 5% in two polls of the early-voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Candidates also had to raise money from 165,000 separate donors, including a minimum of 600 donors each in at least 20 states or territories.
What happened at the last debate?
The party’s fourth presidential debate, hosted by CNN and The New York Times, showcased the shifting dynamics of the Democratic primary. It was one of the first times Warren faced a barrage of critiques from her Democratic competitors. Biden, the other front-runner, stayed out of the fray for much of the event – until a late clash with Sanders that featured the same one-on-one, progressive-against-moderate battle that defined the 2016 Democratic contest. Moderate candidates like Buttigieg and Klobuchar pressed their progressive foes in direct and sometimes personal terms.
CNN’s Eric Bradner, Dan Merica and Gregory Krieg contributed to this report.