What Time & Channel Is the Democratic Debate on Tonight?

Democratic Debate January

Getty Democratic Debate in January

The seventh Democratic debate is tonight, Tuesday, January 14, 2020. 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 Time & Channel


Debate Date: The seventh Democratic debate is taking place tonight: Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Debate Time: The debate will start at 9 p.m. Eastern (8 p.m. Central.) It’s scheduled to last until 11:15 p.m. Eastern (two hours and 15 minutes), but it might last longer.

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 6 p.m. Pacific.

Debate Channel: Tonight’s debate will be broadcast on CNN.

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 CNN is on for you.

Details About Tonight’s Debate

Because of more stringent debate requirements, the candidates in tonight’s debate are narrowed down to six from the previous debates that ranged from 12 to 20.

In order to qualify for this debate, the candidates needed to poll at 5 percent or higher in at least four national or early-state polls, or 7 percent or higher in two early-state polls. These must have been from qualifying organizations that released polls between November 14 and January 10. Another requirement was that candidates get 225,000 unique donors at least, which included 1,000 in at least 20 states.

The candidates for tonight are:

  • Joe Biden, former Vice President
  • Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana
  • Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator
  • Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
  • Tom Steyer, businessman
  • Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator

The only person who did not qualify for this debate but was in the last debate is Andrew Yang. Interestingly, there were so few qualifying polls this time around because of the holidays that Andrew Yang asked the DNC to sponsor more qualifying polls before the next debate, but the DNC said the polling needed to stay independent, USA Today reported.

The debate is being co-hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register.Moderators will be Wolf Blitzer, Abby Phillip, and Brianne Pfannenstiel of the Des Moines Register, CNN reported. Based on qualifying polls, Biden and Sanders will stand at the center podiums. Warren will be on Biden’s left, Buttigieg on Sanders’ right. Steyer and Klobuchar will be on either end.

After this, the next debate will be on February 7. ABC News and WMUR-TV and Apple News will host that debate in New Hampshire at St. Anselm College’s Sullivan Arena, USA Today reported.

On February 19, NBC  News and MSNBC will co-host a debate with The Nevada Independent in Las Vegas.

On February 25, CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, partnering with Twitter, will host a debate at The Gaillard Center in South Carolina.

It’s not yet known if qualifications will be increased for the next debates, or if February debate dates might change if an impeachment trial happens.

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