The July Debates: All the Details


The second round of debates for the Democratic primary has arrived! Here’s the 411 for the two nights of debates that CNN is hosting in Detroit, Michigan.

When is it and where can you watch it?

The first night will be broadcast on Tuesday, July 30 and the second on Wednesday, July 31. Both evenings start at 8pm EST. You can watch the debates on TV at CNN, or livestream at their website.

Lineup for Night 1 (Tuesday)

The candidates are listed how they will appear onstage from left to right. Clicking on the candidate names will send you to a guide focused on their stances on a variety of key issues. 

Marianne Williamson
Tim Ryan
Amy Klobuchar
Pete Buttigieg
Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Beto O’Rourke
John Hickenlooper
John Delaney
Steve Bullock

Lineup for Night 2 (Wednesday)

Michael Bennet
Kirsten Gillibrand
Julian Castro
Cory Booker
Joe Biden
Kamala Harris
Andrew Yang
Tulsi Gabbard
Jay Inslee
Bill de Blasio

Are there any format changes?

USA Today has a good outline of the changes they’re making from the June debate HERE. Two notable changes: 1) They’re allowing each candidate to make an opening statement, not just a closing statement, and 2) candidates who make a lot of interruptions will be penalized by having time taken away from them.

How will the media cover it?

The media and pundits have a tendency to look for the “winner” or “loser” of the debates. I think this is foolhardy. If the point of having debates is to inform voters, then “calling it” just points to the media trying to shape the narrative. I encourage viewers to walk away from the debates with a handful of candidates that they are interested in supporting further, not just one.

Consider turning off the TV and social media right after the debate and think about it for a minute. Come up with your own opinions — trust yourself.

Right before the first debates I wrote an open letter to the media about how I think they should, and shouldn’t, cover the debates. I hope they get it right.

How can candidates qualify for the September debates?

Candidates only needed to have donations from 65,000 donors and reach 1% in three qualified polls to get to these first round of debates. But for September, the thresholds are higher: They must have donations from 130,000 unique donors and reach 2% in at least four qualified polls. The early guesses from a variety of sources is that the debate field could be cut in half by September.

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4 replies

  1. I totally agree on walking away with a handful of candidates to support. I was impressed during the last debates by Booker, Castro, Harris, and Warren, and liked quite a bit of what de Blasio, Inslee, and Hickenloper had to say. I think Buttigieg and O’Rourke need more experience.

    But honestly, any one of them would be better than the current occupant of the white house and I think that’s important to remember too.

    Thank you for everything you do – this blog seems very fair and well considered, and I really appreciate the lack of hyperbole and hype.

    • I agree that our candidates are far superior to the current president. And thank you for the kind comments on the blog—I aim to get folks’ good, actionable info without unnecessary drama.

  2. I saw both debates and thought they were worth watching although found them tiring and sometimes hard to follow. Some good points were raised about the different issues. Listening to the views of the different candidates was worthwhile.

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