12 Dems take stage tonight in largest presidential primary debate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

October 15, 2019: Twelve Democratic presidential candidates will meet on stage Tuesday in the fourth primary debate of the 2020 election cycle. Hawaii and Kansas will use ranked-choice voting in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. blank    blankblank   


Which election featured the first presidential primary debate?

Notable Quotes of the Day

“Omission from November’s debate could effectively choke off a candidate’s visibility and fundraising and make it impossible for them to mount a realistic challenge. Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Klobuchar and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas are all on the cut line. … There’s no better way for those candidates to engineer the big moments they need than to tangle with one of the front-runners.”

– Stephen Collinson, CNN

“Premeditated attack strategies have a mostly losing record so far. The most successful of them—Kamala Harris’ biographical repudiation of Biden’s recording on busing—lent Harris only a short-lived boost as her moment of moral righteousness soon faded to equivocation.
John Delaney earned plenty of screen time in the second debate acting as the moderate counterweight to Warren, but moderate voters already had their preferred counterweight in Biden, and they also like Elizabeth Warren more than they like John Delaney. Tulsi Gabbard, similarly, took a hatchet to Harris in the second debate, a moment that may have hurt Harris but hardly helped Gabbard. And in the third debate, Julián Castro famously ‘insinuated’ that Joe Biden was losing his mind and was rewarded with a sharp collapse in his net favorability.”

– Jim NewellSlate


  • The Democratic National Committee approved proposals from the state parties in Hawaii and Kansas to use ranked-choice voting in the 2020 presidential primary.

  • Joe BidenCory BookerPete ButtigiegJulián CastroTulsi GabbardKamala HarrisAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeBernie SandersTom SteyerElizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang will participate in the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate Tuesday in Westerville, Ohio. Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, and Marc Lacey will moderate the event.

  • Michael BennetBidenSteve BullockButtigiegHarris, and Sanders participated in the second UFCW presidential candidate labor forum in Iowa Sunday.

  • BennetBullockJohn DelaneyKlobucharO’RourkeJoe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson answered questions on retirement issues in a survey produced by Yahoo Finance and the Funding Our Future Campaign.

  • ButtigiegKlobucharTim RyanSteyer, and Yang attended the Ohio Democratic Party’s annual state dinner at the Greater Columbus Convention Center Sunday.

  • In an ethics plan released Monday, Biden proposed establishing a constitutional amendment to eliminate private dollar funding of federal campaigns, strengthening whistleblower laws, and establishing a commission on federal ethics.

  • Buttigieg released a digital ad in Iowa Tuesday critical of Medicare for All. It features political analysts discussing the healthcare proposals of Sanders and Warren.

  • Sanders proposed requiring corporations with at least $100 million in revenue and all publicly traded companies increase employee ownership stakes by providing 2 percent of stocks to their workers until at least 20 percent of the company is employee-owned. His corporate accountability plan released Monday also called for having workers directly elect 45 percent of the board of directors.

  • Sestak began airing his first ad in New Hampshire Sunday, which focuses on his military and congressional career.


  • Mark Sanford discussed foreign policy and the Trump administration’s policy on Syria and Turkey in a CNN interview Sunday.

  • Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, and campaign manager Brad Parscale will host a “Keep America Great” panel Tuesday in San Antonio, preceding Donald Trump’s Thursday rally in Dallas.

  • Joe Walsh is campaigning Tuesday in Davenport, Iowa.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

Flashback: October 15, 2015

Ben Carson and Donald Trump submitted a joint letter to CNBC saying neither would agree to attend the month’s debate if opening and closing statements were not permitted and the event ran longer than 120 minutes.