USA TODAY Staff
Ten candidates for president will be on stage Wednesday night in the fifth debate of the Democratic primary.
The debate comes in the midst of a shuffling among the top-tier of candidates. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has seen a surge in support in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, leading his rivals former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in some polls.
But Buttigieg still trails his rivals in some key states and areas. A recent poll in South Carolina showed him registering less than 1% support among black voters, a key voter bloc in the primary and a group Democrats will need in the general election to win the White House.
How to watch
TV broadcast: MSNBC
Online stream: MSNBC.com, washingtonpost.com, and the NBC News and Washington Post mobile apps. USATODAY.com also will provide live coverage throughout the night.
Candidates will be arranged on the debate stage based on polling with the highest ranking in the center. The following candidates will appear, in order from left to right:
- Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
- Sen. Kamala Harris of California
- Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
- Entrepreneur Tom Steyer
To qualify for the November debate, candidates must have received individual donations from at least 165,000 people, consisting of at least 600 unique donors in at least 20 states.This is up from the previous requirement of 130,000 donors and at least 400 donors in 20 states, which were the marks set for the September and October debates.
The polling threshold has also been bumped up but includes another category of polls that could be used to qualify. Candidates must stand at 3% or higher in at least four approved national or early state polls. Or they can reach 5% or higher in two early state polls. Early states include Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
Two candidate who appeared on the October debate stage will not be on stage Wednesday. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro did not qualify and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas dropped out of the race earlier this month.
What to expect
Candidates will answer questions from a panel of moderators made up of all women. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, MSNBC host and NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker and Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker will moderate.
The announcement comes after criticism that the Democratic primary debates have so far lacked substantial discussion on women’s health issues. At the October debate, Harris and Booker both raised concerns about reproductive health care, and candidates chimed in later when a question on abortion was asked.
Candidates will have 75 seconds to answers questions that are directed at them and 45 seconds for follow-ups, at the discretion of the moderators, according to NBC News. Candidates also will be able to respond if they’ve been referred to by name by another candidate, but that is also at the moderators’ discretion. They also will be asked a “balance number of questions.”
There will be no opening statements and three commercial breaks, according to NBC News.