Democratic Debate Schedule: When Are the Next Debates & How Many Are Left?


The Democratic debates in Detroit are winding down, but it’s just the beginning for the candidates hoping to win the Democratic primary nomination. Here’s a look at what we know so far about the next debates and how many are left.

Tonight marks the second in a two-night debate lineup hosted by CNN. This also is the second pair of debates, with the first hosted last month by NBC. The debate on Wednesday, July 31 will start at 8 p.m. Eastern and is scheduled to last until 10 p.m. Eastern. Yes, that’s starting an hour earlier than the debates did last month.

The lineup for the second debate will be: Jay Inslee, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Bennet, Bill de Blasio, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden. The moderators will be Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper.

But what happens after tonight? The schedule will be packed for a while.

The third set of debates will be in Houston, Texas on September 12, possibly also September 13 depending on how many candidates qualify. Yes, this means there will not be any debates in August. You’ll have a month off from Democratic debate-watching, and this also gives candidates a little more time to qualify.

The September debates will take place at Texas Southern University. Of course, the debates will also air on TV and be live-streamed online too. So just like tonight, you’ll have a variety of different ways to watch the September debates.

The September debates will be hosted by ABC and Univision. Candidates will have a different set of qualifiers that are a lot stricter than they faced for the June and July debates. They’ll have to get donations from 130,000 different donors, which must include 400 from 20 different states. They must also hit 2 percent in four different qualifying polls. So it will be tougher to get into the September debates.

So far, only seven candidates have qualified for the September debates. Considering the 20 attending both debates in July, that means we might see a much smaller roster this time around. According to their campaigns, here are the candidates that have qualified for September so far: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Cory Booker.

Yang’s campaign says they qualified, but the DNC says that only one of two NBC polls counts, so Yang still needs one more poll before he can qualify for the September debates too.

After September, there will be one debate every month until April 2020. Yes, that means you’ll get to watch a debate in October 2019, November 2019, December 2019, January 2020, February 2020, March 2020, and April 2020. We just don’t know who is hosting those debates, where they’ll take place, or who will be in them yet. But it’s going to be a packed and busy schedule for the remaining Democratic primary candidates. At this point in time, anyone could end up coming out on top by the time the Democratic debates are over and the primary elections have taken place.

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