Everything You Need To Know About The Second Presidential Primary Debate

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The 2020 primary season is ramping up with the second round of Democratic debates already behind us. Once again, 20 presidential candidates went head-to-head over the course of two nights — July 30 and 31 — to prove they deserve the American public’s support.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is hosting a total of 12 primary debates to give the candidates an opportunity to make their case, so we’re just getting started.
Ahead, everything you need to know about the second presidential primary debate.

When was the second Democratic primary debate?

Candidates took the stage for the second Democratic primary debate on Tuesday, July 30, and Wednesday, July 31, in Detroit, MI. The debates started at 8 p.m. ET on both nights.

Who are the Democratic candidates who qualified for the second presidential debate?

The qualification rules for this debate were the same as for the first round. Candidates must have received campaign contributions from at least 65,000 individuals and hit the 1% threshold in three separate polls in order to qualify.
The 20 candidates who made the cut are former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Tim Ryan, former Rep. John Delaney, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Gov. Steve Bullock.
Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, who qualified for the first debate in June, dropped out of the race this month. Gov. Bullock of Montana took the open spot.

Who did not qualify for the July Democratic debate?

Rep. Seth Moulton, Former Sen. Mike Gravel, and Mayor Wayne Messam all failed to qualify to participate in the debate again. Two new candidates, former Rep. Joe Sestak and billionaire Tom Steyer, also did not meet the requirements.

What is the lineup for the July Democratic debates?

The candidates were split into two groups of 10 for each night.
Tuesday, July 30: Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, O'Rourke, Ryan, Hickenlooper, Delaney, Bullock, and Williamson.
Wednesday, July 31: Harris, Biden, Booker, Castro, Gillibrand, Gabbard, Inslee, Bennet, Yang, and de Blasio.

Who are the Democratic debate moderators?

The three moderators for the second debate were CNN’s Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper. As we exclusively reported before, the DNC is requiring for the first time that each debate includes at least one woman and one person of color as moderators.
"[The DNC] committed to an inclusive, fair, and innovative approach for all aspects of the 2020 debates, and we're working hard to ensure that our candidates have a meaningful conversation on the debate stage. To make that a reality, we took historic steps, like requiring that all 12 DNC-sanctioned debates feature a diverse group of moderators and panelists that include women and people of color," DNC women's media director Elizabeth Renda previously told Refinery29.

What happened in the first Democratic debate?

Read our key moments from parts one and two of the first Democratic primary debate: Candidates showed off their Spanish skills, sparred about who has done more for reproductive rights, and debated issues including healthcare, immigration, climate change, and gun violence.

Who won the first Democratic debate?

Many political analysts and pundits agreed that Warren and Castro came out on top on the first night, while Harris outshined her opponents on night two.

What is the Democratic debate schedule?

The first debate took place on June 26 and 27. Most dates and locations for the upcoming debates remain TBD, but here is what we know so far.
Second Debate: Tuesday, July 30, and Wednesday, July 31, at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Third Debate: Thursday, September 12, and Friday, September 13, at Texas Southern University in Houston.
Fourth Debate: October 2019.
Fifth Debate: November 2019.
Sixth Debate: December 2019.
Seventh Debate: January 2020.
Eighth Debate: January or February 2020.
Ninth Debate: February 2020.
10th Debate: February 2020.
11th Debate: March 2020.
12th Debate: April 2020.
The debate aired live on CNN. You could also livestream it on's homepage (no log-ins required!), on CNN's apps for iOS and Android, and the CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, and Android TV.

Who won the first night of the second debate?

The big winners of the first night (Tuesday, July 30) were Sanders and Warren, who fielded attacks from most of the moderate, lesser known candidates. Both progressives had the most speaking time, and made a strong case for one of their signature issues: Medicare for All. An honorable mention goes to "wellness guru" Marianne Williamson, who was the most searched candidate of the night after explaining her robust plan for reparations.
While there was no clear winner of the second night's (Wednesday, July 31) debate, it is worth noting that supporters of Medicare for All had their moment, with healthcare policy being the most-discussed topic across both nights. Many candidates — including Harris, Booker, Gillibrand, Castro, and de Blasio — vocalized their support for universal healthcare and distanced themselves from Biden's anti-single-payer stance.

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