With so many candidates trying to win the Democratic Party’s nomination (at least 20 in all), the first Democratic debate is unusual from the start. There’s a slate of 10 candidates debating on Thursday, including heavyweights like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
You can watch a live stream of Thursday’s Democratic debate below.
If you watched Wednesday’s earlier half, you were treated to quite a show from the other 10 candidates competiting; Vote in Heavy’s poll and tell us who you think won on Wednesday here, and read our summary of winners and losers for day 1.
There are many ways to watch the first Democratic debate, though. “The debate will stream online free on NBC News’ digital platforms, including NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, the NBC News Mobile App and OTT apps on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, in addition to Telemundo’s digital platforms,” NBC News announced. “NBC News will also stream the debates live and in full on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.” You can find NBC News’ YouTube channel here. Here’s the live stream from NBC for Thursday’s debate:
On Thursday, even though the candidates were chosen randomly, you’ve got a series of heavyweights mixed in with far lesser known candidates: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.
Wait: Biden vs. Yang? Inslee vs. Booker? Both days of the first Democratic debate were filled with interesting match-ups. The challenge for the moderators, of course, will be finding a way to control the timing so that viewers get a sense of where each candidate stands, with so many people taking the stage.
On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, these candidates debated: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Mike Delaney, Bill de Blasio, and Tim Ryan.
On Wednesday, the candidates focused on the economy at the start of the debate. They spoke of people struggling with student loans and who need healthcare.
“Who is this economy really working for? It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. It’s doing great for giant drug companies,” Elizabeth Warren said in opening moments of the debate. “It’s not doing great for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. It’s doing great for people who want to invest in private prisons, just not for the African-Americans and Latinx, whose families are torn apart, whose lives are destroyed, and whose communities are ruined.
The candidates all indicated they supported a woman’s right to have an abortion. Julian Castro said he supported “reproductive justice.” Climate change was also a commonality. The villains of this debate, to the candidates: Donald Trump and big drug companies. “It is time that we have a national urgency to deal with this problem, Cory Booker said of opioids. Beto O’Rourke spoke about prison reform. Castro spoke about the need for immigration form. “When people come to this country, they don’t leave their human rights at the border,” said Booker, who also spoke Spanish during the debate.
Here’s what you need to know:
Thursday’s Debate Will Last Two Hours
Here are some of the other key details about the debate, which is unfolding in Miami, Florida:
When: The first Democratic debate airs from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day, eastern time.
Where: The debate is being broadcast by NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo.
Moderators: Hence, the well-known NBC personalities acting as moderators: Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Rachel Maddow, Jose Diaz-Balart, and Chuck Todd.
NBC News has announced various debate rules. “Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. And there will be no opening statements, though candidates will have a chance to deliver closing remarks,” the network explained. Cutting even more so into each candidate’s chance to make an impression, there will be a lot of commercial breaks, according to NBC.
Each debate will consist of “five segments each night separated by four commercial breaks,” the network says.
“It’s a little bit of exaggeration calling it a debate,” former Vice President Joe Biden joked, according to NBC. “It’s like a lightning round.”
After Thursday, you’ll have to wait until July for the next Democratic primary debate: July 30 and 31 on CNN.
For the candidates, the stakes are not all the same. Former Vice President Joe Biden, for example, is ahead in the polls, so he theoretically has the most to lose in a debate in which a series of candidates will be scrutinizing his lengthy record and trying to knock him off the presumptive frontrunner perch. However, of course, he isn’t on stage Wednesday, so candidates like Elizabeth Warren, if they go after his record, will have to do so without looking Biden in the eye face-to-face. For some of the lesser known candidates, the debate marks the first chance to introduce themselves to the American public. As the old saying goes, politics is a game of definition after all.
Donald Trump came from virtual nowhere when it comes to presidential politics and achieved his party’s nomination, which gives hope to the dark horse candidates on the Democratic side as well. The Democratic Party’s decision to neutralize the power of the super delegates perceived as not giving Bernie Sanders a fighting chance also makes the primary more interesting and theoretically gives even the lesser known candidates a fighting chance.