CNN will air the Democratic presidential debate live on multiple platforms next month, joining local PBS stations to bring the final Democratic National Committee-sanctioned debate of 2019 to viewers in the US and around the world.
PBS NewsHour is partnering with Politico to produce the debate on December 19 from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. At least six Democrats have qualified to participate: former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Candidates have until December 12 to meet the qualifying criteria established by the Democratic National Committee and its partners to receive an invitation to the debate.
The debate comes during tumultuous times in US history, shaped by ongoing presidential impeachment proceedings in Washington, and a country deeply divided along ideological lines.
The House impeachment proceedings are expected to continue through December, and if the House impeaches President Donald Trump, the Senate will likely take it up in January. Six of the Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination currently serve as US senators and will need to be in Washington if the Senate convenes a trial. This will make the December debate even more critical as it could be the last time these candidates will have a national stage until the next debate in January.
Several Democrats have ended their presidential campaigns after failing to attract enough support from Democratic voters. But the primary field is not contracting. Concerns about the political strength of the current field has triggered at least two more Democrats to consider bids. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced his campaign last week, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made moves toward an eleventh-hour bid for the party’s nomination. It is unclear if Patrick or Bloomberg will reach the DNC thresholds for the December debate.
In addition to airing on local PBS stations, the debate will air exclusively on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and stream on CNN.com’s homepage, PBS.com’s home page, and Politico.com’s homepage. In addition, the debate will be available across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV and SiriusXM Channels 116, 454, 795.
The DNC stated last year it plans to convene 12 Democratic debates in the 2019-2020 presidential election cycle — six in this current year and six next year. CNN’s live simulcast of the “PBS NewsHour & POLITICO Democratic Debate” will be the third presidential debate CNN has aired this year.