The presidential race is tighter than ever heading into the seventh Democratic primary debate.
On Tuesday night, six Democratic candidates will take the stage at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa for a debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register, and hosted by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.
To qualify for the debate before the Jan. 10 cutoff, candidates were required to receive 5% in four DNC-approved polls or at least 7% in two early-state polls (in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada). Qualifying candidates also had to raise money from 225,000 unique donors, with at least 1,000 unique donors in 20 states.
Notably absent will be six candidates who didn't qualify: entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Also not in attendance will be Cory Booker, who ended his presidential campaign on Monday.
Just ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3 as well as primary season, the stakes are getting high. With the field dwindling, the race is becoming close. But a debate at this stage could easily change any candidates' standing.
Here are several things to expect, as well as where and when to watch and listen, as candidates make their case for the presidency.
Who Will Participate in the Debate?
Six candidates made the cut in both donors and polling qualifications.
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Billionaire Tom Steyer
CNN has released the podium order in Tuesday night's debate. Former VP Biden and Senator Sanders will stand in the center. Senator Warren will be to the left of Biden and Buttigieg will be to the right of Sanders. Both Klobuchar and Steyer will stand next to Buttigieg.
Where Is the Debate?
The debate will take place at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. On the college's website, it mentions that this will be the final meeting between the candidates before the Iowa caucuses. In fact, it is known as the capital of Iowa caucuses. Nearly 5,000 students attend the university, located in the political hub.
Where Can You Watch and Listen to the Debate?
CNN will co-host the debate with The Des Moines Register. CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Abby Phillip, as well as the Des Moines Register's Brianne Pfannenstiel will moderate the debate at Drake University.
Iran and Foreign Conflict
Candidates will almost certainly address the Iran conflict and where they stand on America’s foreign policy. Recently, the House voted to approve the proposal to limit Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran. As tensions rise in the Middle East amid a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, candidates are expected to weigh in and refine their messaging on the role of the country in that region.
Medicare for All and Healthcare
Healthcare has been one of the defining issues for Democrats in this election cycle. The candidates will almost certainly defend their stances on healthcare in the U.S. In particular, Warren may be expected to clarify her position on Medicare for All after taking hits on the issue recently. Sanders may receive scrutiny from more moderate fellow candidates Buttigieg, Klobuchar and especially Biden, who clashed with Bernie on the healthcare in the December debate.
A report from ABC shows that 2020 Democratic candidates discussed climate change for nearly 43 minutes while on the debate stage in 2019. Climate change is emerging as one of this year's most pressing issues, as evidenced by 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg being named TIME Magazine's 2019 Person of the Year and a slew of natural catastrophes affecting countries around the world. In light of devastating events including recent California wildfires, Australian bushfires and flooding in Indonesia, the six democratic candidates will likely take time to address this bipartisan issue.