NBC News' live blog tracked the fifth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential election cycle, co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.
With the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump taking center stage,the 2020 candidates clashed over their visions to replace him. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg escaped unscathed after it was expected he'd draw heavy fire as the newly minted front-runner, while former Vice President Joe Biden stumbled with gaffes on women, marijuana and race.
High anxiety: Jittery Democrats fear their candidate won't beat Trump
Democrats, often prone to fretting about elections, have been increasingly worried that their large and divided presidential field, currently led by four imperfect front-runners, doesn't have what it takes to beat President Donald Trump next year.
They worry that Biden is too old and stumbling; that Buttigieg is too young and too inexperienced; and that Warren and Sanders are too far left and can't win. And they tend to write off the rest of the field, assuming that if those contenders haven't caught on yet, they never will.
That angst reached a fever pitch this week and helped push one new candidate and another potential challenger from the party's more moderate wing into the race — former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who announced he's running, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's thinking about it — just ahead of a New Hampshire filing deadline, which essentially barred the door to new candidates when it expired at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Where the candidates stand on key issues
If the past debates are any indication, Wednesday night could feature discussions about health care, immigration, gun control and foreign policy.
With 10 candidates on stage, it can be hard to keep track of where each one stands. Luckily, NBC News has you covered.
Who's on stage tonight?
Here are the 10 candidates who will be on stage tonight:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders
- California Sen. Kamala Harris
- Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
- New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
- Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
- Billionaire Tom Steyer
- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Among those absent from the debate are Housing Secretary Julián Castro, who has qualified for all the debates until now and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who dropped out earlier this month.
The bar to qualify for the November debate, set by Democratic National Committee, was the highest thus far.
How to watch the November Democratic debate: Schedule, rules and more
The Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday will feature Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren standing center stage, flanked by Bernie Sanders and a rising Pete Buttigieg — and will be missing a couple of familiar faces.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Buttigieg will likely capture more attention from his fellow candidates after recent polling shows him leading the field in Iowa, while Warren can expect a barrage of questions about changes to her Medicare for All plan.
The field of 10 candidates expected to take the stage at Tyler Perry Studios — fewer than the 12 at October's debate — will be missing some familiar faces.