How to Watch the Last Democratic Debate Before the Iowa Caucuses 1

If you resolved to watch more presidential debates in 2020, first, are you sure there’s nothing else in your life you need to work on? And second, it’s time to walk the walk.

The seventh Democratic debate gets underway Tuesday, January 14 at 9 pm EST (6 pm Pacific). It’s the last time candidates will meet on the debate stage before Americans start heading to the polls for the 2020 primary. And what better place to do it than the state whose caucuses kick it all off in a few weeks, Iowa. CNN and The Des Moines Register are cohosting the event.

Who’s Debating Whomst

In order to appear onstage at the debates, candidates have had to meet two separate thresholds, one for polling and one for fundraising. The Democratic National Committee once more raised the qualifying criteria for January. Candidates needed to reach 5 percent in at least four DNC-approved polls or 7 percent in at least two early-state polls. They also needed to receive campaign contributions from at least 225,000 unique donors, including a minimum of 1,000 donors each in 20 different states. The DNC announced last week that six candidates qualified for January’s debate.

In alphabetical order, the debaters are:

  • Joe Biden, former vice president
  • Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana
  • Amy Klobuchar, US senator from Minnesota
  • Bernie Sanders, US senator from Vermont
  • Tom Steyer, billionaire
  • Elizabeth Warren, US senator from Massachusetts

This marks the smallest slate for a debate yet, and the least diverse—a criticism that was already lobbed at the DNC’s increasing benchmarks before last month’s debate. A few candidates have dropped out since then, including Julián Castro, Marianne Williamson, and, on Monday, Cory Booker. Others remain in the race but failed to meet the January requirements, such as Andrew Yang and Michael Bloomberg.

With (still) looming impeachment proceedings in the Senate and an unstable situation in the Middle East, not to mention bread-and-butter campaign issues like health care and taxes, there’s plenty for the candidates who did make the debate to discuss.

How to Watch

Unlike the presidential debates, which are simulcast across all the major networks, primary debates—for either party—air on a rotating cast of news organizations. The seventh Democratic debate is cohosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The moderators will be CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Abby Phillip, as well as the Register‘s chief politics reporter, Brianne Pfannenstiel.

The debate is scheduled to begin at 9 pm EST. Cable and satellite subscribers will be able to watch it all on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español.

Cord cutters have plenty of options, too:

  • You can watch the debate live, without needing a subscription or provider log-in, on CNN.com and desmoinesregister.com.
  • You can watch on mobile devices via CNN and The Des Moines Register apps for iOS and Android.
  • You can watch on streaming devices via the CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, and Android TV.

Note: Tuesday may be the last time candidates take the debate stage before the primaries begin, but it’s not their final debate. Far from it. The DNC has scheduled three—yes, three!—debates for February alone.


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