Star Update

The October Democratic Debate: When To Watch, How & What To Expect


It’s time for another Democratic debate, and the October 15 event is bound to be the most dramatic yet. With 12 candidates facing off onstage, the stakes are higher than ever. Here’s how to watch, when it’s airing, and everything else you need to know.

Twelve Democratic candidates are back for yet another presidential debate, on Tuesday, October 15. The field of candidates taking the stage in Westerville, Ohio, is the largest yet, despite the qualifications set by the Democratic National Committee being the strictest to date. Billionaire activist Tom Steyer is making his debut on the debate stage after failing to qualify for the previous three. And despite threatening to boycott the debate, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard reversed her decision on October 14, and will return after sitting out the September round. The debate, held at Otterbein University, will air from 8:00pm ET on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and stream on’s homepage and’s homepage.

The debate, co-hosted by The New York Times, will be moderated by CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett, as well as The New York Times‘ national editor Marc Lacey. The candidates who qualified for the debate were required to have both 130,000 individual donors and at least two percent in qualifying polls. Senator Elizabeth Warren has now surpassed frontrunner Joe Biden in the polls by a significant margin; Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg follow closely. Speaking of Biden, there could be discussion of President Donald Trump‘s accusations that Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, had fishy business dealings. The bigger issue on the table, of course, is the investigation into impeaching the president, which the candidates will almost certainly speak on.

The October debate marks the return of Sanders to the campaign trail, after the 78-year-old suffered a heart attack on October 1 during a rally in Las Vegas. Sanders’ campaign announced after the senator underwent heart surgery to correct an artery blockage that they would be canceling all upcoming appearances events “until further notice” while he recuperated. Despite it only being two weeks later, Sanders is confirmed for the debate; it’s unclear if he will continue to pause his campaign afterward.

Here are the candidates participating in the October 15 debate:

Former Vice President Joe Biden
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard 
California Senator Kamala Harris
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders
Billionaire Activist Tom Steyer 
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
Businessman Andrew Yang

There are another six candidates who did not qualify for the October debate — including several who haven’t qualified for any of the debates so far:

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet
Montana Governor Steve Bullock
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam 
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak
Author Marianne Williamson

For those keeping track at home, the following candidates have now dropped out of the race:

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton
California Rep. Eric Swalwell

Tune in again on November 20 for the fifth Democratic presidential debate.

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