ABC News Democratic Debate Tonight From Houston at 8 pm ET


The 10 leading Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage in Houston on Thursday for the party's third 2020 presidential primary debate.

With her poll numbers hitting a stubborn plateau, the third Democratic presidential debate may become a key moment for Sen. Kamala Harris and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. That ensures two nights of Democratic debates again next month.

Moderators at the third Democratic presidential debate are David Muir, anchor and managing editor of ABC's "World News Tonight", George Stephanopoulos, chief anchor of ABC News, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. The requirements for this debate included receiving 2 percent or more in four qualifying polls between June 28 and August 28, and receiving donations from at least 130,000 unique donors (with a minimum of 400 donors per state in at least 20 states.) The cutoff for qualifying donations was 11:59 p.m. on August 28.

Warren has polling momentum, which may make her more of a target for other candidates.

As the fall debate inches closer and the 2020 campaign rolls on, time will tell whether the mainstream media prefers one candidate over the others, but as Biden's camp alleged, the nomination could be tilted towards either Warren or Sanders.

Unlike almost every other candidate, Biden and Sanders have very low rates of "unsure" responses, meaning that their widespread name recognition has, to some extent, solidified their current position in the public polling. Increased qualification criteria and several drop outs culled the primary field down from the 20 candidates who debated at The Fox Theatre. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Tim Ryan of Ohio, Colorado Sen.

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Candidates will make opening statements, but there will be no closing remarks, the network says.

Candidates will be given one minute and 15 seconds to answer questions and 45 seconds for responses and rebuttals.

It marks the first time all the major candidates will be on one stage.

It will be broadcast live by ABC and Univision and assorted websites and streaming platforms. will live-blog throughout the night, offering live updates, fact checks and analysis.

After a debate earlier this summer in Detroit, Biden said he was "a little surprised" at the flak he took from fellow Democrats about Obama's legacy, pushing back against criticism of the Affordable Care Act and Obama-era immigration policy. Because the threshold is the same, it further means all of the candidates debating on Thursday have already qualified for the October debate.

"For a complete junkie or someone in the business, you already have an impression of everyone", said Howard Dean, who ran for president in 2004 and later chaired the Democratic National Committee.

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