Ten candidates face off in 2020 Democratic Debate

Ten candidates face off in 2020 Democratic Debate
The field of 10 candidates expected to take the stage at Tyler Perry Studios — fewer than the 12 at October’s debate — will be missing some familiar faces. (Source: NBC News)

ATLANTA (NBC NEWS) - The Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday will feature Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren standing center stage, flanked by Bernie Sanders and a rising Pete Buttigieg — and will be missing a couple of familiar faces.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Buttigieg will likely capture more attention from his fellow candidates after recent polling shows him leading the field in Iowa, while Warren can expect a barrage of questions about changes to her Medicare for All plan.

The field of 10 candidates expected to take the stage at Tyler Perry Studios — fewer than the 12 at October’s debate — will be missing some familiar faces.


  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  • California billionaire activist Tom Steyer

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, who qualified for all the previous debates, failed to hit the polling benchmark for this one. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who had also appeared in every debate, dropped out of the race after it became clear he wouldn't make the stage in Atlanta.

Also not making the stage are former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who announced his candidacy last week, and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who's indicated he's going to jump in as well.

Here's everything you need to know about the fifth debate.

The debate is being held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta and is being co-hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post. It's scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday and last two hours.

It will feature four moderators: Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show"; Andrea Mitchell, host of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" and NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post.

The candidates had to hit higher benchmarks than they did in earlier debates — reach 3 percent of support in at least four early state or national polls recognized by the Democratic National Committee, and have 165,000 unique donors. Those were up from 2 percent in the polls and 130,000 individual donors in the two previous debates.

The 10 who made the cut are former Vice President Biden, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Sanders of Vermont, billionaire activist Tom Steyer, Massachusetts Sen. Warren and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

As was the case in earlier debates, stage position was determined by the polls that the DNC used, with the best-polling candidates in the center. From left to right, the order is Booker, Gabbard, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Warren, Biden, Sanders, Harris, Yang and Steyer.

Candidates will have 75 seconds to answers questions posed to them and 45 seconds for follow-ups at the moderators' discretion. Candidates should be able to respond if they're referred to by name by another candidate, but that will be at the moderators' discretion, according to an announcement earlier this month from MSNBC and the Post.