It’s a new year, a new decade and a new phase of the 2020 Democratic presidential contest. That’s right — we’re entering primary voting season, and that can only mean one thing: another Democratic debate.
The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) seventh Democratic debate of this cycle — and the first of the election year — will take place on Jan. 14 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. CNN will co-host the debate with The Des Moines Register and broadcast the event live from 9 to 11 p.m. EST.
Why Iowa? The first nominating contest of the primary, the Iowa caucuses, will take place across the state just a few weeks later on Feb. 3.
The debate stage has shrunk remarkably in the past few months. Only six candidates qualified this time: former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire executive Tom Steyer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The stage has also grown remarkably less diverse. The January Democratic debate will be the first of the cycle without a single person of color on stage. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and entrepreneur Andrew Yang hit the debate’s donor requirement but didn’t quite make the polling threshold. The only Latino candidate in the field, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, dropped out of the race on Jan. 2 and endorsed Warren on Jan. 6