Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Democratic presidential debates: Biden, Harris to share stage again

Live updates: Democratic debate draw CNN Goes All In on Pulling Names Out of Boxes to Determine Democratic Debate Line-up
Anna Jefferson | 19 July, 2019, 07:53

Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., Sen. Kamala Harris, who had a nasty back-and-forth during their initial debate over Biden's past opposition to busing in some instances.

The lineups for the Democratic presidential primary debates at the end of the month were drawn at random and announced on Thursday night by CNN, the network hosting the contest.

Biden and Harris will be joined by former housing and human services secretary Julian Castro, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, New Jersey Sen. Neither did Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton or former Alaska Sen. Cory Booker, who also has been an outspoken critic of Biden.

The debates were matched so that the four top-polling candidates could be spread evenly across two nights, avoiding the "first tier" and "second tier" situation Republicans faced in 2016.

The candidates who won't make the second debate are Seth Moulton, congressman from MA and Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida. The Warren-Sanders matchup is also likely to draw attention as its the first time the two liberal firebrands will debate. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., not far behind, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey.

Another candidate who sparred with a competitor on stage was Castro, during a heated exchange with fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke, in which he called out the former congressman's stance on decriminalizing border crossings.

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The first night's debate will feature most of the Democratic field's moderate voices - alongside Sanders and Warren, the race's two top progressive candidates.

The finalized lineup, officially resulting form a neutral drawing of straws, was announced by CNN on Thursday.

The top tier included Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris.

But for Biden, it could be an opportunity to make a strong showing after a shaky first debate performance. Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders and Warren have solidified their place on the stage by attaining both qualifiers. The debate, should they play nice with each other, presents them both with a golden opportunity to talk up their progressive plans without a heavy-hitting critic like Biden there to criticize them.

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak, who recently announced his presidential bid, failed to qualify for this round of debates along with Massachusetts Rep.

For many candidates, especially those in the bottom 10, this could be their final shot to make a moment on national television, given the DNC is doubling the threshold to qualify for the third and fourth Democratic primary debates later this year. A candidate had to register at least 1% in three polls recognized by the Democratic National Committee.

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