2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum

2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum
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ATLANTA — Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls will take the stage at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta for the fifth Democratic primary debate on Wednesday.

MSNBC and the Washington Post will host the forum, which will air from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST.

Who will be there? Who won't? What questions will the candidates be asked? Who will jab at whom? What will we learn?


Keep reading for everything you need to know for the fourth 2020 Democratic primary debate.

Who will be there, and in what order?

In order of stage placement:

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Obama endorses Espy in Mississippi Senate race Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority MORE (D-N.J.)

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (D-Hawaii)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharStart focusing on veterans' health before they enlist Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (D-Minn.)

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 MORE


Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAll fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown What do Google, banks and chicken salad have in common? Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit MORE (D-Mass.)

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Trump campaign eyes election night party at his sold-out DC hotel Harris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' MORE

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersObama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden MORE (I-Vt.)

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg The painstaking, state-by-state fight to protect abortion access MORE (D-Calif.)

Andrew YangAndrew YangPelosi spars with CNN's Blitzer over COVID-19 aid: 'You really don't know what you're talking about' The shape of guaranteed income Biden's latest small business outreach is just ... awful MORE

Tom SteyerTom SteyerTrump leads Biden in Texas by 4 points: poll Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein 2020 election already most expensive ever MORE

What are people saying about the stage placement?

Biden, Warren, and Sanders will once again be center stage, but they will not be the only targets of the evening.

Buttigieg has surged in a number state and national polls recently, and has presented himself as a centrist alternative to Warren’s progressive ideas.

Warren and Buttigieg will likely go head-to-head on a number of issues, like health care. Biden could also see an opportunity to swipe at Buttigieg, who has established himself in the centrist lane.

What topics could come up?


The debate falls in the middle of a number of public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Most of the candidates in the Democratic primary field back have thrown support behind impeachment.

Medicare for All

Health care has turned out to be the most consequential policy debate in the primary. Sanders and Warren have advocated to overhaul the current health care system in favor of Medicare for All. Biden and Buttigieg, on the other hand, have pushed for a moderate approach to improving the current health care system. Warren, who has faced a number of questions about the specifics of her health care plan, will likely face questions about it on Wednesday.

Sexual Misconduct

Warren, Sanders, Booker, and Harris signed onto a letter Tuesday calling on the DNC to make sure NBC and its parent company Comcast conduct an independent investigation into the network’s “toxic culture” amid a number of sexual assault allegations.

While it’s unclear whether this will come up on Wednesday evening, NBC and Comcast have been dealing with the fallout of allegations against former “Today” anchor, Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerComcast shareholders reject proposals for outside sexual harassment investigation at NBC Ronan Farrow fires back at Matt Lauer 'shoddy journalism' accusation: 'Just wrong' Megyn Kelly calls independent Tara Reade interview the 'wave of the future' MORE.

The women's advocacy group UltraViolet pushed last month for the DNC to cancel the debate. The letter from the senators does not call for the debate to be canceled.

Jobs and the Economy

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE frequently touts the state of the economy under his administration, but Democrats argue that the growth the U.S. sees on Wall Street is not translating to Main Street. Expect Sanders and Warren to continue to push their messages of economic equality, while other candidates detail how they would help the middle and low-income Americans.


Who won’t be there? 

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickRalph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden MORE

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergTexas and North Carolina: Democrats on the verge? The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Biden breaks all-time television spending record MORE

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Cotton mocks NY Times over claim of nonpartisanship, promises to submit op-eds as test Democrats sense momentum for expanding child tax credit MORE (D-Colo.)

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockInterior says Pendley to remain at BLM despite 'dramatic tweets' from Democrats Democrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll Poll shows statistical tie in Montana Senate race MORE (D)

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.)


Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE 

Former Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.)

Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention Fewer people watched opening night of Democratic convention compared to 2016 Marianne Williamson: Democratic convention 'like binge watching a Marriott commercial' MORE

Where can I watch the debate? 

The debate will air on MSNBC and can be streamed on MSNBC.com and washingtonpost.com. The forum will also be available on NBC News’ and the Washington Post’s mobile apps. The debate will also air on SiriusXM Channel 118, and TuneIn.

Hill.TV will stream a live 30-minute pre-show, as well as a post-debate show on The Hill’s YouTube channel.