The fourth Democratic president debate of the 2020 election cycle will air on CNN Tuesday night at 8 p.m. from the campus of Otterbein University in Ohio.
For the first time, former Vice President Joe Biden won’t enter the debate as the front-runner, thanks to the surging campaign of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Making matters worse for Biden is he’s been forced to deal with false allegations pushed by President Donald Trump and others that he pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor for investigating a company linked to his son, Hunter.
It’s unclear if any of Biden’s Democratic rivals will press him on whether it was appropriate for his son to serve on the board of a Ukrainian gas company while he was vice president, especially after Hunter pledged over the weekend not to work for any foreign-owned companies if his father is elected. When asked about it on the campaign trail last month, Warren initially suggested it wasn’t appropriate before walking it back to say she’d have to look at her ethics plan.
CNN is cohosting tonight’s debate with the New York Times. It’s been over a decade since the Times has planned and hosted a debate, and comes as the newspaper continues to find itself under attack from President Trump amid an impeachment investigation that will certainly be a topic tonight. Marc Lacey, the Times’ national editor, will moderate his first national debate alongside CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett.
“Apparently there had been a meeting among the top Times brass in which various people were proposed for the Times moderator role,” Lacey said in a recent interview. “When [Times politics editor Patrick Healy] asked me, I chuckled. It turns out he wasn’t joking.”
Tuesday night’s debate will pack the stage with 12 candidates, the most of any evening during this election cycle and two more than last month’s paired-down debate. Appearing for the first time this cycle will be billionaire hedge-fund founder Tom Steyer, who spent big in several early states to garner enough support to qualify for tonight’s debate.
“They believe what I’m saying. That’s the only reason," Steyer told my colleague Julia Terruso. "If I had nothing to say — then they wouldn’t be responding, but they actually are, and that’s a reflection of the message.”
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream tonight’s Democratic debate:
When: Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Where: Otterbein University, Westerville, Ohio.
Time: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Moderators: CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Erin Burness and New York Times national editor Marc Lacey.
TV: CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español.
Fox News will air a special edition of Special Report at 6 p.m. live from Otterbein University anchored by Bret Baier. The network will stick to its normal prime-time programming featuring Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, but Fox News will offer its own postdebate analysis at 11 p.m., anchored by Fox News @ Night’s Shannon Bream alongside correspondents Peter Doocy, Ellison Barber, and Griff Jenkins.
MSNBC’s postdebate analysis begins at 11 p.m., anchored by The 11th Hour host Brian Williams, Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace, and new MSNBC weekend anchor Alicia Menendez. All In host Chris Hayes will be live from the debate spin room offering real-time analysis. AM Joy host Joy Reid will continue MSNBC’s live coverage at 1 a.m.
The DNC has approved as many as 12 debates, though there may be fewer, depending how the primary process plays out. Tonight’s debate will be the fourth of 2019, with a fifth scheduled for Nov. 20 in Georgia and a sixth yet-to-be scheduled debate in December.
Six more Democratic debates are tentatively scheduled for 2020.
In order to quality for November’s debate, candidates need to reach 3 percent in four polls from a list of DNC-approved pollsters, or 5 percent in three approved early-state polls from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Only polls released between Sept. 13 and Nov. 13 count. Candidates also need to secure 165,000 individual donors.
So far, eight candidates have qualified to participate in the fifth Democratic presidential debate next month, according to the New York Times: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, Yang, Booker, and Steyer. O’Rourke, Klobuchar, Castro, and Gabbard have met the donor threshold, but so far haven’t garnered enough support in qualified polls.