After a Tuesday night face off which featured a divide between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party, another ten Democrats will go on stage tonight at the Fox Theater in Detroit, for the second 2020 debate sponsored by CNN, with former Vice President Joe Biden headlining this gathering.
Biden's performance in the first debate in June was somewhat uneven, as Democrats will certainly be watching to see how he handles likely attacks from Cory Booker and others in this second debate.
First, let's remind everyone of which candidates will be on the stage in this second debate.
Follow along for the high points of the second debate:
10:45 pm - As the debate comes to a close, a liberal group - Democracy For America - puts out a statement praising Warren and Sanders from Tuesday night, and knocking most of the candidates on the stage tonight. It seems to me that most every candidate is going to declare victory in the Spin Room tonight.
10:37 pm - The closing statements are including the websites for the various candidates - a reminder that they need more support in terms of money and the polls to get into the next debate.
10:30 pm - Time for closing statements to bring this second debate to a close. It's always interesting to see who rolls their message right off their tongue, and who stumbles.
10:25 pm - What is Google showing tonight? That some of those at the back of the pack are getting a lot more interest from viewers.
10:22 pm - CNN did not bring up the Mueller Report and the Russia investigation on Tuesday night, but did bring it up tonight. Not surprisingly, the Democrats on stage are certainly all for investigating the President.
10:18 pm - Biden has certainly been under fire a lot in this debate. I can easily find experts on social media tonight who think he's done great, and some who think he's leaking oil.
10:08 pm - Andrew Yang has already spoken more in this debate than in his first.
10:05 pm - Mayor de Blasio has taken an interesting tactical move tonight in his debate answers, as he has used his time to ask direct questions of Biden and others on stage, instantly putting them on the defensive.
9:50 pm - All of the candidates were asked about why the Democrats lost Michigan in the 2016 election. Biden goes back to the auto bailout under the Obama Administration, and notes that he's been endorsed by the Mayor of Detroit.
9:45 pm - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY will get a lot of attention for her line that she would “Clorox” the Oval Office if she's elected President.
9:31 pm - Bennet raises his voice and complains about the debate stage focus on what Biden was doing 50 years ago, making the case that schools in big cities like Detroit are just as segregated now as they were in the 1960's.
9:28 pm - Tulsi Gabbard lays into Harris about her record as state Attorney General in California in how she dealt with imprisoning marijuana suspects in jail, and her treatment of death row inmates. “You owe them an apology,” Gabbard says.
9:20 pm - CNN's Jake Tapper tees it up for Kamala Harris to slam Biden over race issues, busing, and more, as Biden is really getting hammered in the last 25 minutes.
9:15 pm - Booker will get a lot of play on this jab at Biden.
9:07 pm - DeBlasio and Booker zero in on Biden, and the record of large numbers of deportations under the Obama Administration. Booker sternly criticizes Biden for not saying whether he supported or opposed that policy.
9:06 pm - Looks like some Republicans are watching.
8:59 pm - Biden takes flak from Castro as they break sharply over the question of whether crossing the border should be treated as an illegal action.
8:55 pm - There are more demonstrators interrupting the debate, this time chanting about deportations of illegal immigrants, as Biden was getting ready to answer a question about the subject.
8:50 pm - The debate continues on health care - Biden spars with Harris over her health plan, as he rips de Blasio and Harris over their health care math on the cost of the Medicare For All idea.
8:45 pm - Under attack on her health care plan, Harris tries to channel Elizabeth Warren's rejoinder from last night about using Republican talking points - but it wasn't delivered as effectively.
8:41 pm - We're seeing some division like last night in the debate over health care, as Sen. Michael Bennet D-CO goes after Harris and her health plan, echoing Biden's arguments. “It doesn't make sense to take away insurance from half the people in this room.”
8:39 pm - Harris quickly pivots on a health care answer to smack Biden, arguing his health care plan won't cover some 10 million people. Biden disputes her assertion.
8:38 pm - The RNC quickly drops an email into the inbox of reporters: “Democrats Want To Make Private Health Insurance Illegal.”
8:34 pm - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY does something that wasn't brought up last night, as she pivots from the health care debate among Democrats to hit President Trump. “Let's not forget what the Republicans are doing...their goal is to take away your health care.”
8:33 pm - The debate begins on health care, just like on night one, this time focusing on Medicare For All, and a health plan set out by Kamala Harris. Biden blasts it as too expensive, and stands by the current system, which he was involved in setting up. "Obamacare is working...build on Obamacare"
8:25 pm - Being a radio guy, my ear hears things - Kamala Harris's microphone seems like it's not working correctly.
8:23 pm - The debate is on hold because of a group of protesters inside the Fox Theater. Booker had to stop his opening speech for about 45 seconds.
8:22 pm - Andrew Yang starts by talking about his plan to give everyone $1,000 a month. He spoke for less than three minutes in the first debate. He's getting one minute right now.
8:16 pm - “I'm Jay Inslee and I'm running for President.”
8:13 pm - The debate starts with opening statements. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio goes first. It's still quite amazing that the Mayor of the largest city in the United States isn't having much of an impact on this race. DeBlasio immediately reaches out and takes a jab at both Biden and Harris.
8:10 pm - I thought that's what I heard, but I wasn't sure.
8:06 pm - Here's the view of the ten Democrats on stage tonight:
8:00 pm - As we wait to get started, there are still press releases being churned out about last night's debate.
7:55 pm - It's possible that half of the candidates on the stage tonight will not qualify for the next debate in September. So far, seven candidates are locked in for the Houston debate - Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, O'Rourke, Sanders and Warren are in - while Castro, Klobuchar, and Yang might still qualify.
7:50 pm - My father - who grew up just outside of Detroit - checks in via email with a memory of his childhood at the same place where the debate is being held tonight.
7:45 pm - President Trump isn't here, but he's certainly the elephant in the room for the Democratic candidates - and the President knows it.
7:40 pm - Before this debate begins, what about Tuesday night? A lot of political know-it-alls argued that Elizabeth Warren was the winner of the first night, including GOP pollster Frank Luntz.
7:30 pm - After last night's debate spent over 30 minutes on the subject of health care - specifically the pros and cons of “Medicare For All” as backed by Senators Sanders and Warren - one would expect that subject will come up tonight for the second group of Democratic candidates. And watching from afar are some Democratic U.S. Senators, who make the argument that the Trump Administration deserves more mention for trying to repeal the Obama health law.
7:20 pm - What's the buzz on the ground here in Detroit? It's pretty basic stuff - will Joe Biden do well tonight? If he has another uneven performance, that's going to be the top story in the morning. No one is quite sure whether Kamala Harris will go after Biden again, but it seems likely that Cory Booker will make that effort. From Nevada, we get this perspective from longtime political reporter Jon Ralston.
7:15 pm - The Biden campaign will have a full roster of surrogates to speak to the press after the debate - but that may depend on how Biden does in the debate. After the first debate in Miami - when Biden encountered some turbulence courtesy of Kamala Harris - most of his surrogates did not show up in the 'spin room' after the debate. We'll see the Mayor of Atlanta and some members of Congress show up here once this second gathering is done.
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