How and where to watch the first 2020 Democratic primary debates

There’s more than seven months to go before the 2020 primary season gets underway with the Iowa caucuses, but the first Democratic primary debates will air Wednesday and Thursday evening.

With 20 candidates set to take the stage, the event has been split up into two nights, with 10 candidates per debate. NBC News will host the debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida. They’ll be moderated by NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, and Chuck Todd, along with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Telemundo’s José Diaz-Balart.

Here’s what you need to know about the first Democratic primary debate.

How do I watch the debate online?

NBC will livestream the debate on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. You can watch a livestream of the debate above starting at 6 p.m. PT on both Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27. Both debates are scheduled to last until 8 p.m. PT.

NBC also plans to livestream the debate for free on NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, the NBC News Mobile App and on its Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire Apps. The debate will also stream on Telemundo’s digital apps and platforms.

If you choose to go the traditional-TV route, the debate will air live on NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo starting at 6 p.m. PT.

Which candidates will be at each debate?

NBC randomly split up the candidates between the two nights, meaning you won’t get to see the Joe Biden-Elizabeth Warren matchup you might have been hoping for.

The Wednesday night debate will feature:

  • Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas)
  • Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.)
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn)
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

The Thursday night debate will feature:

  • Author and activist Marianne Williamson
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
  • Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)

Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the current frontrunners in the race, according to Real Clear Politics averages of national polling, though a stellar debate performance could give any candidate a significant boost.

What will they talk about?

Each candidate could be asked any question, though they might try to pivot to a topic they’re passionate about. Expect to hear about their plans for health care, immigration, trade, and foreign policy.

We’ll be watching for any mentions of how the candidates’ policy proposals would impact tech. Warren in particular has been forceful calling for breaking up the country’s biggest tech companies, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook. She’s not alone in scrutinizing those companies: The House of Representatives began an antitrust investigation into Big Tech earlier in June.

When is the next debate?

CNN will host the second Democratic primary debate, which will also be held over the course of two nights: July 30 and 31. After that, ABC and Univision will hold the third debate on September 12 and 13, 2019.

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