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 BookerMenendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line Garland commits to combatting systemic racism MORE (D-N.J.)

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting MORE (D-Hawaii)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharFive big takeaways on the Capitol security hearings Top cops deflect blame over Capitol attack Ex-Capitol Police chief did not get FBI report warning of violence on Jan. 6 MORE (D-Minn.)

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegSenate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary Biden to detail 'roadmap' for partnership with Canada in meeting with Trudeau Biden's infrastructure plan needs input from cities and regions MORE


Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenYellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill Hillicon Valley: Google lifting ban on political ads | DHS taking steps on cybersecurity | Controversy over TV 'misinformation rumor mills' MORE (D-Mass.)

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders has right goal, wrong target in fight to help low-wage workers Democrats in standoff over minimum wage Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack MORE (I-Vt.)

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCollins: Biden's .9T coronavirus package won't get any Senate GOP votes House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill Biden's immigration bill could wreck his majority, but Democrats have opportunity to do the right thing MORE (D-Calif.)

Andrew YangAndrew YangNYC's largest union endorses Maya Wiley in mayoral race Five things to watch in the New York City mayoral race Yang hits donation requirements to get city funds in NYC mayor's race MORE

Tom SteyerTom SteyerGOP targets ballot initiatives after progressive wins On The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far 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 LauerJoe Biden tops Google people searches in 2020 Comcast shareholders reject proposals for outside sexual harassment investigation at NBC Ronan Farrow fires back at Matt Lauer 'shoddy journalism' accusation: 'Just wrong' 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 TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident 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 PatrickBiden faces pressure to take action on racial justice issues Biden selects Susan Rice to lead Domestic Policy Council, McDonough for Veterans Affairs Harrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment MORE

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergOn The Trail: The political perils of Snowmageddon Five things to watch in the New York City mayoral race Florida Democrats mired in division, debt ahead of 2022 MORE

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats plan crackdown on rising drug costs Overnight Health Care: Biden officials announce funding to track virus variants | Senate Dems unveil public option proposal | White House: Teacher vaccinations not required for schools to reopen Senate Democrats unveil health care proposal with public option MORE (D-Colo.)

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockOvernight Health Care: CDC calls for schools to reopen with precautions | Cuomo faces rising scrutiny over COVID-19 nursing home deaths | Biden officials move to begin rescinding Medicaid work requirements Montana governor lifts state mask mandate Lobbying world 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 WilliamsonRush Limbaugh dead at 70 Marianne Williamson discusses America's "soulless ethos" Marianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention 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.