Leading Democratic White House contenders Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren will share the stage for the first time on Thursday when the top 10 candidates for the party’s presidential nomination meet in a debate in Houston.
The third debate in the race to find a challenger to Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election will spotlight the party’s ideological divisions, with moderate front-runner Biden at center stage flanked by progressives Warren and Bernie Sanders, both U.S. senators.
Who made the cut?
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
- South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
- Sen. Kamala Harris of California
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas
- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Businessman Andrew Yang
Who didn’t make the cut?
- Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
- Health guru Marianne Williamson
- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
- Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
- Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam
- Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
- Former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania
- Investor Tom Steyer
Seven other Democrats, including U.S. Senators Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, also will participate as all of the party’s highest-polling candidates square off for the first time.
Earlier debates in June and July were split over two nights to accommodate a crowded field of 20 contenders. But the party toughened the qualifying criteria to winnow the field and give a bigger spotlight to the top candidates.
“You may have candidates on the stage who have no other option but to go on the attack,” said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic strategist who worked on the presidential campaign of former U.S. Senator John Edwards.
“If you are any of the bottom seven, you have to say something or do something to stand out. It’s simple math,” he said.