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Biden will be only candidate at center stage in Democratic debate

Biden will be only candidate at center stage in Democratic debate
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE will be the lone candidate at the center of the stage during Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate.

PBS NewsHour and Politico, the two news outlets sponsoring the event, announced the podium order for the debate on Tuesday. With only seven candidates expected to appear on stage, Thursday’s debate will be the first in which only a single candidate will take the middle podium. 

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Biden will be flanked by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Helping students make informed decisions on college Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE (D-Mass.) to his right and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Sunrise Movement endorses Nina Turner in special election for Ohio House seat The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma MORE (I-Vt.) to his left. On Warren’s side of the stage will be South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegInfrastructure deal imperiled by differences on financing Biden says he and GOP both 'sincere about' seeking infrastructure compromise The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Colonial pays hackers as service is restored MORE (D) and tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangJeffries endorses Wiley in New York mayor's race Yang: 'Defund the police is the wrong approach for New York City' HuffPost's Daniel Marans discusses fallout from Yang's comments on Israel MORE. Standing on Sanders’s side will be Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Senate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill MORE (D-Minn.) and billionaire philanthropist 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.

The podium order was chosen based on the candidates’ averages in Democratic National Committee–approved polls conducted since the last debate on Nov. 20. The highest polling candidate — in this case Biden — was given the centerstage podium. 

The Thursday debate in Los Angeles will be the first one of the 2020 election cycle to feature an odd number of candidates. The last debate, in November, included 10 hopefuls, while the one before that, in October, featured a 12-person lineup.

Thursday’s debate, the final one of 2019, is set to begin at 8 p.m.