Third Democratic Debate Lineup

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Erin Schaff/The New York Times


We ran the numbers: There are 941 news articles covering this topic. 86% (809) are left leaning, 12% (117) center, 2% (15) right leaning.

With the summer coming to a close, the stage is set for the third round of Democratic presidential debates, which will take place on September 12 in Houston. The debates will feature half the number of candidates as the previous round in July, with only 10 candidates meeting the required 2 percent polling in 4 recognized polls and 130,000 unique donors. The participating candidates are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. According to DNC rules, 10 candidates may share a stage at once, meaning that the debates will only be one night. There are ten more candidates running for the nomination who did not meet the requirements for the debate. Several candidates have also dropped out of the race leading up to the debates, including John Hickenlooper, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Jay Inslee.

Centrist coverage from NPR notes that the smaller candidate field may lead to more opportunities for substantive conversation, Joe Biden has expressed frustration at the 1-minute limit on answers in the last debate. However, the answer time for this debate will be only slightly longer: 1 minute and 15 seconds. The article also remarks that this debate will mark the first time that frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren meet on a debate stage, as by chance they did not share the stage during either of the previous two debates. Furthermore, the article notes, the same rules will be in place for the next debate in October, meaning that candidates who did not qualify for this debate have the chance to be included in the next.

A left-leaning article from the New York Times explains the rules of the debate and the order in which the candidates will stand: the candidates with higher polling averages will stand closer to the center of the stage. The article also notes that several candidates who did not make the cut for the debate criticized the DNC for “unfairly narrowing the field with five months still to go before the Iowa caucuses.” The article notes that because the rules will remain the same in October, that debate will likely stretch to two nights, so readers should not get “too excited about the one-night format.”

On the right, Fox News also emphasizes the criticism of the DNC by candidates who did not qualify for the debate. In particular, candidates Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson, and Steve Bullock expressed frustration at the DNC’s rules for qualifying for the debates. A right-leaning article published by the New York Post notes that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who did not qualify for the debate, is now continuing to “‘campaign’” in Nevada. De Blasio’s continuing campaign has been a source of frustration for his staffers in New York, the article reports.