January Democratic debate: What you need to know

Final debate before Iowa caucuses full of political irony for Democrats seeking White House

Six white Democrats desperately seeking the nation’s minority vote will take the stage Tuesday night for their final debate before next month’s Iowa caucuses.

The debate, co-hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register, will feature former Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and billionaire activist Tom Steyer. 

The debate will be held at Drake University and will air on CNN at 9 p.m. EST.

»MORE: Important Election 2020 dates

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker dropped out of the race, leaving only former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as the only African-American candidate. Patrick did not meet polling or donor qualifications to make the stage. 

Five Democrats on stage is quite the reduction in number from the party’s first debates in 2019. Twenty Democrats took the stage over two nights, June 26-27, in Miami.

Booker, along with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, did not participate in December’s Los Angeles debate.

Neither Gabbard or Patrick will be in Tuesday’s debate. Also failing to qualify are U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet; former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Booker’s exit follows Marianne Williamson last week and Julián Castro earlier this month. Booker’s fellow senator from California, Kamala Harris, ended her bid in early December. Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke dropped out this past October. 

Ten Democrats were in Atlanta’s November debate at Tyler Perry Studios.

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Tuesday’s debate comes one day after a CNN report claiming Sanders told Warren, back in December 2018, that a woman could not defeat President Donald Trump, a charge Sanders vehemently denies. Warren confirmed the incident Monday night.

The Iowa caucuses, this year set for Feb. 3, 2020, are widely seen as a presidential election year’s first significant event.

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