The Democratic Party, it’s safe to say, has had a rough week, between the tech meltdowns in Iowa, impeachment failures in DC, and probably something else I've already forgotten. What better way to cap it off than gathering seven probably exhausted presidential candidates onstage to lob zingers at one another for three hours. Yes, that’s right: Once more unto the debate breach, dear friends, once more. (Actually, it will be thrice more in the month of February alone, an absurdly high ratio of nationally televised debates to calendar days.)
The eighth Democratic primary debate gets underway tonight at 8 pm EST (5 pm PST) in Manchester, New Hampshire, just a few days before the state’s first-in-nation primary on Tuesday. ABC and local affiliate WMUR are cohosting the festivities.
Who’s Debating Whomst
When the DNC originally announced the requirements to participate in its eighth debate last month, it provided two paths: Candidates could either meet the delegate threshold, based on the results of the Iowa caucus, or they needed to meet the familiar combination of polling and grassroots fundraising criteria. Who knows what the results out of Iowa are at this point (no, seriously, who knows), so tonight’s debaters all got in thanks to polls and donors.
The seven candidates participating in tonight’s debate are, in alphabetical order:
- Joe Biden, former vice president
- Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana
- Amy Klobuchar, US senator from Minnesota
- Bernie Sanders, US senator from Vermont
- Tom Steyer, billionaire
- Elizabeth Warren, US senator from Massachusetts
- Andrew Yang, tech entrepreneur
How to Watch
Unlike the presidential debates, which are simulcast across all the major networks, primary debates—for either party—air on a rotating cast of news organizations. The eighth Democratic primary debate is being hosted by ABC and its New Hampshire affiliate WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester.
The moderators will be George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, and Linsey Davis from ABC News, as well as WMUR’s Adam Sexton and Monica Hernandez. ABC is also partnering with Apple News, which will stream the debate and feature content from ABC News reporters on its iOS app with real-time updates throughout the evening. Apple News has also been soliciting questions from users to submit to the ABC moderators, but has no moderator of its own.
The debate will be broadcast live on the ABC television network beginning at 8 pm EST. There will be no opening or closing statements from candidates, just three hours' worth of questions for them to answer.
Cord-cutters will have plenty of options to watch too:
- ABC News will livestream the debate on the ABC News website, ABC News Live mobile apps, YouTube, and Facebook. Its debate coverage kicks off tonight at 7 pm EST.
- WMUR will also livestream the debate on its website and its mobile app.
- The ABC News broadcast will be available for free live on the Roku Channel and XUMO streaming services.
- ABC is also available with a paid subscription to streaming services like Sling TV and YouTube TV. Hulu with Live TV, which like ABC is owned by Disney, will feature the debate on its homepage beginning with ABC News’ preshow coverage at 7 pm EST.