The eighth Democratic debate is tonight, Friday, February 7, 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 eighth Democratic debate is taking place tonight: Friday, February 7, 2020.
Debate Time: The debate will start at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central.) That’s one hour earlier than it started last month. It’s scheduled to last until 11:00 p.m. Eastern (three hours). There’s a chance it might last longer, but that’s not quite as likely since this is a three-hour debate rather than a two-hour debate.
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.
ABC is going to have a pre-debate special that starts an hour before the debate begins. You might want to at least tune in a few minutes before 8 p.m. Eastern to see the introductions and handshakes.
Debate Channel: Tonight’s debate will be broadcast on ABC.
To find out what channel ABC 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.
A pre-debate show is airing now on ABC News’ Facebook feed here.
Details About Tonight’s Debate
The debates started with a range of 12 to 20 candidates. Last month’s debate only had six, but Andrew Yang met the qualifications this month and will be joining the rest of the group. So this month’s debate has one extra person from last month.
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. Another requirement was that candidates get 225,000 unique donors at least, which included 1,000 in at least 20 states. A candidate with at least one delegate from Iowa could also qualify.
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
- Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
The debate is being co-hosted by ABC, Apple News, and WMUR-TV. It’s taking place just days before the New Hampshire primary on February 11 at St. Anselm College’s Sullivan Arena. George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, and Linsey Davis from ABC News will moderate, along with Adam Sexto and Monica Hernandez from WMUR.
After this, the next debate will be on February 19 in Nevada. NBC News and MSNBC will co-host a debate with The Nevada Independent in Las Vegas. The requirements are different for the February 19 debate. Candidates must have 10 percent in at least four national or early-state polls in Nevada or South Carolina, or 12 percent in at least two early-state polls. They can also qualify if they have a delegate in Iowa or New Hampshire.
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.