NATIONWIDE — Six Democratic candidates will take the stage on January 14 in the next debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.
- When: January 14, 9-11 p.m. EST
- Where: Drake University in Des Moines, IA
- Who: Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire Tom Steyer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
The stakes are higher since this will be the last Democratic debate before the February 3 Iowa caucuses. The debate will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, a state Donald Trump won in 2016. The two-hour debate will begin at 9 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on CNN. For debate updates and analysis about the issues that matter to you, follow Spectrum News on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Just six of the seven candidates who took part in the last debate will participate this time around due to stricter polling and fundraising requirements for entry.
How did candidates qualify for the debate?
In December 2019, party officials announced that qualifiers will need to meet one of two polling requirements to get on stage in Des Moines: either receiving 5 percent in at least four national or early-state surveys approved by the party, or receiving 7 percent in two early-state polls.
In terms of fundraising, candidates must receive donations from at least 225,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 1,000 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. That’s up from 200,000 unique overall donors, and 800 in 20 states for the December debate in Los Angeles.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire Tom Steyer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have qualified for the January 14 debate.
Which candidates did not make the debate?
Author Marianne Williamson announced on January 10 that she is dropping out of the presidential race. She was last seen on the debate stage on July 30, 2019.
“I stayed in the race to take advantage of every possible effort to share our message. With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now,” Williamson said in a message on her website.
Unable to raise the needed funds, former Secretary of Housing Julián Castro departed from the race on January 2. He didn’t qualify for the Democratic debates that took place in November and December 2019.
Castro announced on January 6 that he is endorsing Warren.
Businessman Andrew Yang appeared in the December debate. He reached the donor requirement for the January 14 debate, but didn't meet the requisite number of polls.
Also not qualifying this time around: Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Colorado Sen. Michael F. Bennet, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick.
What should we expect from the seventh debate?
The conflict in Iran will likely be a major topic of discussion.
The senators that are still in the presidential race returned to Capitol Hill on January 8 for a classified briefing. It was a chance for them to raise questions about President Donald Trump's strategy.
On January 9, the House moved toward approval of a non-binding measure limiting President Trump's ability to take military action against Iran as criticism of the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general intensified. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that while the war powers resolution does not require President Trump's signature, it nonetheless "has real teeth" because it is "a statement of the Congress of the United States.'' Republicans denounced the House measure as little more than "a press release" designed to attack the president. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence urged GOP lawmakers to oppose the plan.
Pelosi said the drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani was "provocative and disproportionate." Iran retaliated by firing missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops.
Another topic viewers should expect to hear about at the seventh debate is the December 18 impeachment of President Trump.
Pelosi says she'll soon transmit the articles of impeachment against the president to the Senate for a trial. It's a sign of a potential thaw in the standoff with Senate Republicans as Pelosi warns against rushing to an acquittal without a fair trial. Pelosi faces mounting pressure from Republicans and some Democrats to quit delaying the trial. It's been more than three weeks since the House impeached Trump on charges of abuse and obstruction. Republicans say Democrats are embarrassed by their vote. But Pelosi says Democrats are “proud'' of upholding the Constitution. Many on Capitol Hill expect the trial to begin next week.
What else should Ohioans listen for in Tuesday’s debate?
Ohioans may hear about a number of issues important to the state during the debates. Here are a few:
- Gun Control
Ohio has suffered a mass shooting in Dayton this year. Be prepared to see the candidates take a strong stance on gun control when they are on the stage. All of the Democratic candidates call for some form of gun control.
Ohio's growing immigrant community, especially in Central Ohio, is the main reason the state experienced net population growth over the last decade. President Trump has routinely criticized immigrants, specifically those who are undocumented, during his tenure. Most recently, he announced a new policy targeting undocumented immigrants who receive federal welfare assistance, such as Medicaid, food stamps, or subsidized housing. This policy could impact the approximately 56,000 undocumented Ohioans who currently use these federal assistance programs. State Democrats largely oppose the change. Immigration is sure to be a prominent topic of discussion during the debate, and the policies proposed by the Democratic candidates would have real impacts on immigration in Ohio.
- Health Care
Unlike some of its neighboring Midwestern states, Ohio expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Over five years later, the uninsured population in Ohio has fallen by more than half: 32.4% of Ohioans were uninsured before the expansion, and only 12.8% were afterward. This year, Ohio Republicans introduced a work requirement to the Medicaid expansion. This requirement means Ohioans enrolled in Medicaid must work (or attend school or job training) for a minimum of 80 hours per month to receive health benefits. An estimated 18,000 Ohio residents could lose coverage when the requirement goes into effect. Health care is an issue that touches everyone’s daily lives, and it is one that Ohio voters will be on the lookout for during the debate.
- Climate Change
Climate change will have and is already having a variety of effects in Ohio. From flooding to extreme heat, to worsening water quality in the Great Lakes, Ohioans have to adjust to the new reality of the changing climate. The Ohio Environmental Council released a report that found that the state’s children are already suffering from extreme heat in urban areas, along with poor air and water quality. With state lawmakers divided over how to address a myriad of issues surrounding climate change, Ohioans should pay close attention to the Democratic candidates’ plans to see how they will—or will not—impact the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.