Tonight is the ninth Democratic debate, this time held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The debate, on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, is just a few days before the Nevada caucus on February 22. But tonight’s debate starts a little later than you might be expecting, at 9 p.m. Eastern. Here are all the details.
Tonight’s Debate Starts at 9 PM Eastern
Tonight’s debate starts at 9 p.m. Eastern (8 p.m. Central/6 p.m. Pacific.) This is a later time than most viewers are likely used to watching the debate. The debate is scheduled to last just two hours until 11 p.m. Eastern, which is an hour shorter than the last debate in early February, which ran for three hours.
The debate tonight is being hosted by NBC, MSNBC, Noticias Telemundo, and The Nevada Independent.
The lineup is going to look a little different than previous debates. We’ll only have six people this time. Andrew Yang dropped out of the race after the New Hampshire caucus, so he won’t be in the debate tonight. Tom Steyer also didn’t qualify for the debate, but Michael Bloomberg did qualify. Bloomberg qualified because the requirements for the debate where changed, allowing for candidates to qualify based only on polling, without any donation requirements.
The candidates in tonight’s debate are:
- Joe Biden, former Vice President
- Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City
- Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana
- Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator
- Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
- Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator
The moderators from NBC are Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, and Hallie Jackson. Vanessa Huac from Telemundo and Jon Ralston from The Nevada Independent are also moderating the debate tonight.
While you wait for the debate to start, you can watch this Pre-Show on NBC.
Tonight’s debate will be interesting. It’s the first debate that Michael Bloomberg can participate in. There will likely be quite a few heated discussions on stage as the more progressive candidates face off against Bloomberg. It’s unclear how Bloomberg, Biden, and Buttigieg will interact on stage, but it’s a fair guess that Warren and Sanders at least will have some pretty serious issues with Bloomberg.
Candidates must have had 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 could also qualify if they had a delegate in Iowa or New Hampshire.
Tonight, the rules will give candidates 1 minute and 15 seconds to answer questions, and 45 seconds for rebuttals, NBC News reported. Of course, this is all up to the moderators’ discretion and might vary depending on what’s happening on stage.
The next debate will take place on Tuesday, February 25, at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. This 10th Democratic Debate will be hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, CBS, and Twitter. It’s just before the February 29 South Carolina primary.
After that, we’ll have a longer wait for the next debate, which will be on March 15. Then the final debate will be in April.