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Democratic debate: Start time, how to watch and stream on MSNBC

This is Maddow's second time moderating a presidential debate during the 2020 election cycle.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow will moderate her second Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle Wednesday night.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow will moderate her second Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle Wednesday night.Read moreAP File

With impeachment hearings in full swing, 10 Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage Wednesday night in the party’s fifth debate of the 2020 primary election cycle.

Facing the spotlight will be Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who has been surging in popularity in recent early-state polls, running near the top of the pack alongside former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Two candidates who appeared during the previous four debates won’t be on the stage — former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who dropped out of the race earlier this month, and former Obama cabinet secretary Julián Castro, who didn’t poll high enough to quality. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who entered the presidential race last week, also won’t be on the stage Wednesday, and it’s unlikely he’ll garner enough support to quality for next month’s debate in Los Angeles.

Moderating her second debate of the 2020 election cycle is popular MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who drew some attention ahead of moderating the Democrats’ first debate due to her role as an opinion host.

Maddow will be joined on stage by a trio of female journalists with ties to Philadelphia: NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, a University of Pennsylvania graduate and former KYW radio reporter; NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, a Philly native and a former NBC10 reporter, and Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker, who also graduated from Penn (and whose eyebrows briefly went viral in 2017).

Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate:

Fifth 2020 Democratic primary debate

When: Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Where: Tyler Perry Studios, Atlanta

Time: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Moderators: Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker, Ashley Parker


Streaming: MSNBC app, NBC News NOW app,, fuboTV (free 7-day trial).

Media coverage

MSNBC’s post-debate analysis begins at 11 p.m., anchored by The 11th Hour host Brian Williams, Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace, and Hardball host Chris Matthews, who is celebrating his 20th year on the network.

The Washington Post will offer its own special coverage prior to the debate at 8 p.m., anchored by video reporter Libby Casey on Post-debate coverage will also be led by Casey beginning at 11 p.m.

CNN and Fox News will stick to their normal prime-time programming, but both will offer live post-debate coverage at 11 p.m. CNN’s debate analysis will be anchored by The Lead’s Jake Tapper and Cuomo Prime Time’s Chris Cuomo, while Fox News coverage will be anchored by Fox News @ Night’s Shannon Bream.

Candidates who will appear on stage Wednesday night

  1. Joe Biden, former vice president and U.S. senator from Delaware

  2. Cory Booker, U.S. senator from New Jersey

  3. Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind.

  4. Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. representative from Hawaii

  5. Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California

  6. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from Minnesota

  7. Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator from Vermont

  8. Tom Steyer, hedge fund manager

  9. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts

  10. Andrew Yang, lawyer and entrepreneur

» READ MORE: Elizabeth Warren was a ‘political conservative.’ Then she went to Rutgers and taught at Penn.

Number of Democratic primary debates

The DNC has approved as many as 12 debates, though there may be fewer, depending how the primary process plays out. Wednesday’s debate will be the fifth of 2019, with a sixth scheduled to be held in Los Angeles co-hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico on Dec. 19.

Six more Democratic debates are tentatively scheduled for 2020.

» READ MORE: Pennsylvania lawmakers want an earlier presidential primary — and the attention that comes with it

In order to quality for December’s debate, candidates need to reach 4 percent in four polls from a list of DNC-approved pollsters, or 6 percent in three approved early-state polls from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Only polls released between Oct. 16 and Dec. 12 count. Candidates also need to secure 200,000 individual donors.

As of now, six candidates qualify for December’s debate, according to the Washington Post: Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren.

» READ MORE: Why Medicare for All is dividing labor unions, a key Democratic constituency