Viewing parties are planned for six sites in Los Angeles County Thursday for the first debate of the 2020 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination with all the major candidates on the same stage.
The parties will be held at:
— The Abbey Bar, 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood;
— Gramercy, 2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica;
— Rusty’s, Santa Monica Pier;
— USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy;
— Writers Guild of America Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills; and
— 9401 Oakmore Road, Beverlywood.
Author Marianne Williamson, a candidate who failed to qualify for the debate, is set to speak at 8 p.m. at the viewing party at the Writers Guild of America Theater.
The 10-candidate debate sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee will begin at 5 p.m. and be televised by ABC and on Univision with a Spanish translation.
The campaign’s previous two debates were both split into two nights because 20 candidates qualified under rules set by the DNC with draws determining what nights candidates would debate.
Higher qualifying thresholds — candidates needed to either register 2% support in at least four qualified polls and have 130,000 unique donors to their campaign, including a minimum of 400 donors in at least 20 states, to qualify for the debate — meant only 10 candidates qualified and only one debate would be held.
(If at least 11 candidates qualified, the debate would have been split over two nights).
Candidates qualified for the first two sets of debates by registering 1% support in three qualified polls or having 65,000 unique donors to their campaign, including a minimum of 200 donors in at least 20 states.
The candidates’ positions on the stage at Texas Southern University’s Health & PE Center in Houston was determined by the averages of the last 10 polls certified for qualification by the DNC with the highest polling candidates near the center.
Standing from left to right will be Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; former Vice President Joe Biden; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; California Sen. Kamala Harris; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.
ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” anchor and managing editor David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos will be the moderators.
To former political strategist Robert M. Shrum, the keys to this debate include whether “second-tier” candidates like Booker and O’Rourke can “make a big impression” to create momentum.
Other keys include how well Biden does, whether Warren engages Sanders and if Harris can explain “what does she wants to do in the presidency,” Shrum, now the director of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future, told City News Service.
Said Samantha Zager of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, “Thursday night, Americans around the country will watch as the 2020 Democrat field proposes socialist policies that would only serve to harm our nation.
“Whether they are promoting government-run healthcare, open borders, or the elimination of fossil fuels, we can count on Democrats to promote a big government agenda that is out of touch with American values. Meanwhile, the economy is booming and President Trump’s pro-growth agenda has helped Americans across the country.”