It’s opening night for the Democrats and fans will be gathering in living rooms and bars around the Philadelphia region.

It’s early, but one sign of local grassroots support for the 24 Democrats running for president is whether anyone’s signed up with a campaign to throw an “official” debate watch party. The debates, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 p.m., will be broadcast live from Miami on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

Here’s a look at which candidates have watch parties in the Philadelphia area. Keep in mind, some campaigns might push supporters to sign up to host watch parties more aggressively than others. Also, in some cases, a watch party is not a physical get together but someone who has agreed to host a Facebook Live watch event for their friends (see Joe Biden supporter down below).

Nine of the 20 candidates taking the stage this week have watch parties nearby that are mentioned on a candidate’s website and available for the public to sign up to attend.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have the most watch parties here, followed by Biden and Pete Buttigieg. We talked to some of the hosts to find out who they are and why they already know who they’re cheering for on TV this week. Candidates are listed in order of the number of local parties.

Bernie Sanders, Thursday night, 13 parties

The Vermont senator has at least five Philly watch parties, including one hosted by Dave Deming. Deming, 30, a cancer researcher and doctoral student, is hosting an event in his den in Graduate Hospital. He expects about a dozen people to come over for the event.

Deming, who backed Sanders last time around, signed up to host through the “BERN” app. He likes Sanders single-payer health insurance plan and his stance on getting corporate money out of politics.

“I believe Sanders with his push and with bully pulpit can push forward legislation and ultimately an amendment to get money out of politics."
Dave Deming, Bernie Sanders supporter

Nationwide, Sanders’ campaign has the most parties listed of any candidate — at least 900 nationwide. Warren is next (525) followed by Buttigieg (276) and then Biden (193).

The Philadelphia Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is also hosting a watch party for Sanders, who was endorsed by the group. It’s at the First Unitarian Church at 2125 Chestnut St.

Elizabeth Warren, Wednesday night, 12 parties

A local grassroots group, Philly for Warren, is hosting a watch party at Field House, 1150 Filbert St.

Jon Geeting, an 18th Ward committee person, helped form the group, now up to 1,000 members, about a month ago.

While Biden already has the backing of several elected party leaders in the city and Sanders has a considerable base from his last run, including groups like Reclaim, Geeting said he’s seen Warren excitement growing here as she rises in the polls.

“I just think she’s got the most interesting proposals so far and I think she - during the Obama years had proven herself to really know how to play the appointments game within the federal bureaucracy …I think about what is the next Democratic president going to be able to get done possibly with a Republican Senate still. I want the person who’s going to be able to max out on their agenda through the bureaucracy and I feel like she’s sort of more than qualified for the job.”
Jon Geeting, Elizabeth Warren supporter

People are also gathering to cheer Warren on in Lansdowne, Havertown, and Cherry Hill.

Joe Biden, Thursday night, 7 parties

Biden’s campaign headquarters will soon land in Philadelphia, but so far the only watch party on his website in the city is in West Philadelphia and it’s actually not a physical event. Susan Freed Smith is hosting a Facebook Live watch event online. The former vice president also has listed parties in West Chester, Media, and Woodbury.

Freed Smith, 62, said she sees Biden as having the best chance at beating President Trump and thinks he can unite the Democratic party.

“I wanted Biden to run years ago. I know there were certain points where he was not very liberal but he’s changed his mind as people do when they get older. He has so much experience with government - even though Sanders does too, Sanders is too much to the left to beat Trump. We need somebody that is a Democrat way more than we need someone to push the agenda because I don’t think the country’s ready for that right now. We’re ready for change but we need someone who’s willing to work with people.”
Susan Freed Smith, Biden supporter

Pete Buttigieg, Thursday night, 6 parties

Buttigieg has supporters gathering in Lower Bucks, North Wales, at the University of Pennsylvania, and in Center City at Tabu bar.

Nathan Osburn, a former Obama administration speech writer, helped create the Philly for Pete group, which is now up to about 500 members, he said. The members represented Buttigieg in the Philadelphia Pride parade and hosted Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, this spring. Osburn, 39, who lives in Fishtown, organized the Tabu watch party, which is open to anyone interested, and he thinks will draw about 30 people.

“I think he has strength in foreign policy and I think he’s going to actually be around for climate change, so I think he has a lot of credibility on climate change. He and Chasten both have student debt themselves so I think they have a lot of credibility on that, too. And I think people are just really excited about his campaign.”
Nathan Osburn, Pete Buttigieg supporter

Beto O’Rourke, Wednesday night, 1 party

Jess Drass, 38, an art therapist and University of the Arts professor, has liked O’Rourke since his failed but closer-than-expected Texas race against Sen. Ted Cruz last year. Drass is hosting about 25 people in her apartment in Haddonfield. She hasn’t seen much Philly or South Jersey support for O’Rourke but said she hopes the debate shows off more of what she likes about him — his pragmatism and focus on listening to voters.

“I’m at the tail end of Gen X and I’ve never felt like there’s a politician speaking my language or speaking my values before...I’ve been using the hashtag #listenerinchief. Everything I watch with him it’s so much about what he’s doing to listen to people and how he’s not interested in attacking from a partisan side of things and he’s really not interested in attacking Donald Trump. He’s looking forward to the future of how we can be pragmatic.”
Jess Drass, Beto O'Rourke supporter

Kamala Harris, Thursday night, 1 party

A woman in Newtown is hosting a watch party via Skype for supporters of the California senator.

Cory Booker, Wednesday night, 1 party

The New Jersey senator and former mayor of Newark will have some fans gathered in Hatfield.

Amy Klobuchar, Wednesday night, 1 party

There’s a watch party for supporters of the Minnesota Senator in Haddon Heights.

Marianne Williamson, Thursday night, 1 party

A woman in Wayne is opening up her house to supporters of Williamson, the author and lecturer.