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 BookerGOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday House to pass sweeping police reform legislation Police reform in limbo after Senate setback MORE (D-N.J.)

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Hawaii)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (D-Minn.)

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE


Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHouse Armed Services votes to make Pentagon rename Confederate-named bases in a year Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP MORE (D-Mass.)

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign raised M more than Trump in the month of June RNC, Trump campaign raised 1M in June Michigan shuts down most indoor bar service in bid to prevent virus resurgence MORE

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHickenlooper beats back progressive challenge in Colorado primary Progressive groups urge Biden to tap Warren as running mate Young Turks host says Elizabeth Warren should be Biden's VP pick MORE (I-Vt.)

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisLiberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday If only woke protesters knew how close they were to meaningful police reform MORE (D-Calif.)

Andrew YangAndrew YangHillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night Clinton, Buttigieg among Democrats set to hold virtual events for Biden MORE

Tom SteyerTom SteyerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary 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 TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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 PatrickIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Andrew Yang endorses Biden in 2020 race MORE

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergWake up, America — see what's coming Bloomberg urges court to throw out lawsuit by former campaign staffers Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify MORE

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHouse Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 'The Senate could certainly use a pastor': Georgia Democrat seeks to seize 'moral moment' Some realistic solutions for income inequality MORE (D-Colo.)

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockLincoln Project releases new pro-Biden ad in swing states The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night Lincoln Project backs Bullock in Montana Senate race MORE (D)

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyEurasia 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 Minnesota AG Keith Ellison says racism is a bigger problem than police behavior; 21 states see uptick in cases amid efforts to reopen 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 touts endorsements for progressive congressional candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests 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.