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 BookerZombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Absences force Senate to punt vote on Biden nominee MORE (D-N.J.)

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard on Chicago mayor's decision to limit media interviews to people of color: 'Anti-white racism' Fox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials MORE (D-Hawaii)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC Senate confirms Lina Khan to the FTC MORE (D-Minn.)

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE


Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Democratic patience runs out on bipartisan talks NYC progressives anxiously watch Maya Wiley's ascent MORE (D-Mass.)

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote Briahna Joy Gray on how Sanders changed the healthcare conversation Sanders 'delighted' DeSantis asked White House to import Canadian prescription drugs MORE (I-Vt.)

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisIt's past time we elect a Black woman governor Manchin rebuffs progressive push for infrastructure guarantee It's time for domestic workers to have rights MORE (D-Calif.)

Andrew YangAndrew YangFive takeaways from the NYC Democratic mayoral debate NYC progressives anxiously watch Maya Wiley's ascent Danny Glover endorses Eric Adams in NYC mayoral race MORE

Tom SteyerTom SteyerTop 12 political donors accounted for almost 1 of every 13 dollars raised since 2009: study California Democrats weigh their recall options Why we should be leery of companies entering political fray 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 LauerPress: Cuomo belongs to wrong party Joe Biden tops Google people searches in 2020 Comcast shareholders reject proposals for outside sexual harassment investigation at NBC 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 TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos 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 PatrickOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court sides with oil companies in Baltimore case| White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects | Biden administration to develop performance standards for federal buildings Approving Kristen Clarke's nomination should be a no-brainer To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergPress: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship 5 former Treasury secretaries back Biden's plan to increase tax enforcement on wealthy MORE

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetPast criticism of Trump becomes potent weapon in GOP primaries Hillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Senators introducing B bill to help narrow digital divide MORE (D-Colo.)

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBiden 'allies' painting him into a corner Democratic Kansas City, Mo., mayor eyes Senate run Overnight Energy: Climate Summit Day 2 — Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation MORE (D)

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyLobbying world Coronavirus 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 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 WilliamsonSusan Sarandon and Marianne Williamson call for justice in Steven Donziger case Marianne Williamson: Refusal to hike minimum wage is part of 'rigged economy' Rush Limbaugh dead at 70 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.