Everything To Know About The December Debate

Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Getty Images.
Plot twist: The sixth Democratic presidential debate is probably happening after all.
Previously, all seven candidates who qualified threatened to skip the last debate of 2019 in solidarity with workers at the venue, Loyola Marymount University in L.A., who were in a dispute with their employer Sodexo.
But at the last minute, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) stepped in to broker a resolution to the dispute, and now it looks like the debate is moving forward after all.
Things are moving fast. Ahead, everything you need to know — for now.
Advertisement

Is the sixth Democratic primary debate still happening?

As of now, it looks like it is.
“Every worker deserves fair wages and benefits. That’s why I was proud to help bring all stakeholders to the table, including UNITE HERE Local 11, Sodexo, and Loyola Marymount University, to reach a deal that meets their needs and supports workers,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement Tuesday. UNITE HERE Local 11, the union representing over 150 cooks, dishwashers, servers, and cashiers at Loyola Marymount, had begun negotiations with its employer Sodexo in March.
“I commend Sodexo and UNITE HERE for coming together in good faith to forge an agreement that is a win-win for everyone, and I appreciate the constructive engagement of LMU leadership which was indispensable to the resolution of this negotiation.”
All seven of the candidates who qualified had been planning to boycott the debate if the dispute is not resolved.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the first candidate to express her support for the union and promise to boycott the debate. The rest of the lineup — Sen. Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, Joe Biden, Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar — followed suit, in a rare moment of unity between different factions of the Democratic Party.
"The DNC should find a solution that lives up to our party's commitment to fight for working people," Warren wrote on Twitter. "I will not cross the union's picket line even if it means missing the debate."

When is the sixth Democratic primary debate of 2019?

Advertisement
The debate is set to take place on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at Loyola Marymount University in L.A. PBS NewsHour is partnering with Politico to produce it. CNN will air it live.

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

The candidates who qualified are Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Sen. Bernie Sanders; former vice president Joe Biden; Sen. Amy Klobuchar; billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer; South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and businessman Andrew Yang. Yang was the last to qualify and will be the only candidate of color onstage after Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out of the race earlier this month.

Who did not make the Democratic debate?

The candidates who were close to making the cut but did not qualify were Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Those who weren't close to qualifying include Sen. Michael Bennet, billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who is financing his own campaign and therefore will reportedly not qualify for any of the debates), former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, former Rep. John Delaney, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and author Marianne Williamson.
There's been some drama over who gets to qualify, with several of the candidates sending a letter to ask the DNC to relax its qualifications for the debate, which they argue have “unnecessarily and artificially narrowed” the diverse field. Candidates of color, in particular, seem to have been hampered by questions over "electability."
Advertisement

Who are the Democratic debate moderators?

The moderators will be journalists Judy Woodruff, Tim Alberta, Amna Nawaz, and Yamiche Alcindor.
The debate will be aired on PBS, CNN, and CNN International. You can also livestream it on PBS.orgPBS NewsHourPolitico.com, or CNN.com. It will begin at 8 p.m. ET and is expected to end by 11 p.m.

Who won the debate last night?

Most agreed that Amy Klobuchar was "in a groove" last night, with smart one-liners and substantive responses on policy. It remains to be seen how this will affect her lagging poll numbers.

What is the Democratic debate schedule?

There are six more of these coming up!
Seventh Debate: January 14, 2020, at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. It will be hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register.
Eighth Debate: February 7, 2020, in New Hampshire.
Ninth Debate: February 19, 2020, in Nevada.
10th Debate: February 25, 2020, in South Carolina.
11th Debate: March 2020. Exact dates and location have not been announced yet.
12th Debate: April 2020. Exact dates and location have not been announced yet.
Related Content:

More from US News

R29 Original Series