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Debate viewing guide: Democrats prepare for second set of Democratic Party debates

Posted at 9:37 PM, Jul 26, 2019

It has been nearly a month since 20 Democrats met for the first debate to vie for the party’s nomination in next year’s presidential election. On Tuesday and Wednesday, 20 Democrats will once again take the stage, this time in Detroit.

What is different

While there will be 20 Democrats on the stage -- 10 each night -- one Democrat has since dropped out of the race. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California ended his bid for the presidency earlier this month. His spot on the debate stage has since been filled by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

With this debate being aired on CNN, there will be a different set of moderators. Don Lemon, Dana Bash and Jake Tapper will conduct the debate.

Unlike last month’s Miami debate, CNN has told the candidates that there will be no “show of hands or one-word, down-the-line questions.”

Also different, CNN has threatened to reduce the time of candidates who are constantly interrupting.

What is the same

Candidates will be given 60 seconds to answer and 30 seconds for follow ups. The requirements to qualify for the debate also remained the same, and was based off of polling and fundraising criteria.

Biden back as frontrunner

Vice President Joe Biden’s lead took a bit of a hit in the days following the last debate thanks to a contentious confrontation from Sen. Kamala Harris of California. Harris’ emotional rebuke of Biden’s stance on public school busing in the 70s was easily the most memorable moment of the night.

It also seemed to have, at least temporarily, cut into Biden’s lead. Polls from CNN and Quinnipiac University had Biden’s polling as low as 22 percent. Harris, for her part, saw her numbers increase to above 10 percent. Biden has seen his polling number return to near 30 percent. Harris, however, has continued to poll above 10 percent, indicating that she perhaps draw some support from some of the other candidates.

Biden and Harris are the two center-stage candidates for the July 31 debate.

But Harris might not be Biden’s biggest concern on Wednesday. Sen. Cory Booker and Biden have been involved in a spat in recent days over criminal justice reform. Booker called Biden “an architect of mass incarceration.” This is over Biden’s support for the 1994 Crime Bill.

Warren/Sanders showdown

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are generally allies in the Senate, but on Tuesday, they will square off on stage. The two senators are vying for the support of the liberal wing of the party.

Sanders and Warren have been contending for No. 2 in polling.

Is it quite possible that Tuesday’s debate will consist of the moderators trying to find some daylight between the two candidates.

Both candidates make income inequality a central theme of their campaigns. Both are strong proponents of Medicare-for-all. Both support increasing the national minimum wage.

How candidates qualified

To qualify for the second round of debates, candidates had to fulfill one of two criteria: either get 65,000 donors to their campaigns, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or obtain at least 1% in three polls recognized as legitimate by the committee.

Here are the candidates:

On July 30, these candidates will be on stage:

On July 31, the candidates who will debate are:

How to watch:

The debates will be aired live from 8 to 10:30 p.m. ET on CNN on July 30 and 31.