The Times and CNN Will Host the Next Democratic Debate in Ohio

 nytimes.com  09/13/2019 20:42:00   Maggie Astor

The Democratic National Committee has announced that the next debate will be held on Oct. 15, with a possible second night on Oct. 16.

ImageThe huge Democratic field, and the resulting two-night debates, have tested many voters patience and prevented some of the highest-polling candidates from facing one another directly.
The huge Democratic field, and the resulting two-night debates, have tested many voters patience and prevented some of the highest-polling candidates from facing one another directly.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times
Maggie Astor

The New York Times and CNN will co-host the next Democratic debate near Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 15, with the possibility of a second round one night later depending on how many candidates meet the qualifying criteria.

The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that the debate would be held in Westerville, Ohio, on the campus of Otterbein University. The moderators will be the CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett as well as The Timess National editor, Marc Lacey.

So far 11 candidates have qualified for the CNN/New York Times debate  the 10 Democrats who appeared in Thursday nights debate on ABC, as well as the businessman Tom Steyer, who recently qualified for the next one. Other candidates have until the end of the day on Oct. 1 to meet the qualifying standards.

The criteria for October are the same as those for September: Candidates must have 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent support in four qualifying polls.

Mr. Steyer, the billionaire investor and impeachment activist, made the cut after a recent CBS News/YouGov poll showed him at 2 percent in Nevada, a key early-voting state.

Along with Mr. Steyer, the October debate will feature:

Two other candidates have met the 130,000-donor threshold but have not met the polling threshold:

  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

  • Marianne Williamson, a self-help author

Ms. Gabbard has two qualifying polls and needs two more; Ms. Williamson has only one qualifying poll and needs three more.

The remaining seven candidates have met neither threshold:

  • Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado

  • Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York

  • Former Representative John Delaney of Maryland

  • Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Fla.

  • Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio

  • Former Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania

None of these candidates have reached 2 percent in any qualifying polls, and the race would need to fundamentally change for any of them to make the debate stage.

This will be the first presidential campaign debate that The Times has planned and hosted in more than a decade. Mr. Lacey, The Timess National editor since 2016, oversees on-the-ground coverage of the country by several dozen reporters, focusing on major issues and concerns facing Americans. He also oversees The Timess Race/Related newsletter. Mr. Lacey is a former Washington correspondent for The Times, covering the White House and the State Department, and was also a foreign correspondent in Nairobi and Mexico City and a domestic correspondent in Phoenix.

The huge Democratic field has tested many voters patience and prevented some of the highest-polling candidates  most notably Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren, who were assigned to different debate nights in both June and July  from facing one another directly until this week. A return to a two-night format would mean that top contenders could be split again.

The 10-candidate debate format on Thursday made it challenging for the candidates to delve deeply into multiple issues, and relatively little time was spent on the economy, taxes, tech or abortion rights.

Maggie Astor is a political reporter based in New York. Previously, she was a general assignment reporter and a copy editor for The Times and a reporter for The Record in New Jersey. @MaggieAstor

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