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January Democratic debate live updates: Six candidates face off in Des Moines

Tuesday's debate was the smallest one yet.
Image: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, former mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar will take the state in a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night in Iowa.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, former mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar will take the stage in a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night in Iowa.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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NBC News provided up-to-the-minute coverage of the seventh Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tuesday's debate stage was the smallest one yet, with many of the candidates who appeared on stage in previous debates either failing to qualify or dropping out of the race.

Hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register, the debate featured six candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, billionaire Tom Steyer, and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

Read about all the highlights below.

Download the NBC News app for full politics coverage.

Live Blog

Iowa roiled by Democratic infighting weeks before first-in-nation vote

DES MOINES, Iowa — This isn't how the home stretch before the Iowa caucus was supposed to go.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., seemed to have been telegraphing a willingness to take on former Vice President Joe Biden for his judgment on the Iraq War, amid the escalating tensions with Iran. That was the singular focus until the conflict between Sanders and fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren bubbled into a fever pitch in the days leading up to the debate on Tuesday night here.

The very public rift marks a sea change in a winnowing Democratic field, less than three weeks before Iowans are set to caucus on Feb. 3.

And the crux of the Sanders-Warren conversation — about whether a woman can beat Trump — also highlights uncomfortable questions about perceived "electability" and brings about the specter of Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss. In conversations with a dozen Democratic operatives and aides, there appears to be little appetite for, and much hand-wringing over, these topics of conversation — on Clinton, on 2016 or on electability and gender.

Read more here.

January Democratic debate: Everything you need to know

The seventh Democratic presidential debate is set for Tuesday night, and it will be the smallest — and least diverse — debate to date.

The field of candidates has been shrinking, and the front-runners' campaigns have been taking on a tougher tone with one another, with even old friends Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren butting heads.

The debate is the last before the Iowa caucus on Feb. 3. The two candidates who've been sniping at each other the most in recent weeks, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, will be standing side by side on center stage.

Here's what you need to know.