The first of the Detroit Democratic debates is tonight, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. What time is the debate starting and how can you watch it on TV? Here’s a quick look at when you’ll need to tune in for the debate as candidates seek the Democratic nomination.
Debate Date: The first Democratic debate is taking place tonight: Tuesday, July 30, 2019.
Debate Time: The debate will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central) and last until 10 p.m. Eastern, so the debate will be two hours long. It’s worth noting that the debate this month is starting an hour earlier than the debates started last month.
On the West Coast, the debate will air simultaneously with the rest of the country (not on a delay like sometimes happens for West Coast airings.) This means the debate will begin at 5 p.m. Pacific.
According to TV Guide, CNN is covering the debate for three hours until 11 p.m. Eastern. The last hour will likely be commentary and interviews, since the debate itself is scheduled to end at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Debate Channel: Tonight’s debate will be broadcast on CNN, CNN en Espanol, and CNN International. Live stream options will also be available on CNN.com, as well as CNN apps.
To find out what channel CNN is on for you, click here to go to TV Guide’s listings. Then change the “Provider” (right under TV Listings) to your local provider. You’ll be able to scroll down to see what channel any of those stations is on for you.
Debate Details: The lineup for the first debate will be: Marianne Williamson, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Tim Ryan, Steve Bullock, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.
This means that we’ll be seeing leading progressive candidates Sanders and Warren facing off against some more moderate candidates, like O’Rourke. While Sanders has said that he’s a democratic socialist, for example, O’Rourke has said that he personally is a capitalist, not a socialist. And while Sanders and Warren have championed Medicare for All, which is a single-payer system, O’Rourke has championed Medicare for America, saying that the focus should be finding solutions as quickly as possible.
Candidates who are participating in tonight’s debate qualified in one of two ways: by either getting contributions from 65,000 unique donors (which includes 200 donors from 20 different states apiece) or getting 1 percent or higher in three qualifying polls. Things are going to be a lot stricter for the September debates.
Tonight’s debate format will be a little different than the rules that candidates faced in June, AP reported. CNN has said that they will not ask candidates to raise their hands in answer to specific questions, and they also won’t ask questions that are limited to yes or no answers.
Candidates will be able to give opening statements and closing statements, unlike NBC’s debate last month which did not allow opening statements. Candidates will be given 60 seconds to answer a question and another 30 seconds to respond. Of course, we all know that last month, candidates went over those times and often interjected during other candidates’ questions. So it will be interesting to see if candidates stay more “in line” this time around.
The debate will last for two hours and it will be moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper. For some candidates, this might be the last time we see them on the debate stage. Due to tougher requirements, only seven candidates have qualified so far for the September debates, although more are likely to make it in within the next month. Those who have qualified (which means meeting both stricter donation and polling requirements) are: 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.