MSNBC announces Tyler Perry Studios as site for November debate

Nine Democratic presidential candidates have qualified for the debate so far, according to an NBC News tally.
Image: The Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Ga.
The Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Ga.Courtesy

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By Allan Smith

The fifth Democratic presidential debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, will be held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on Nov. 20.

The debate will be feature four moderators, all of whom are women: Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show"; Andrea Mitchell, host of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" and NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post.

So far, nine candidates have qualified for the debate stage, according to an unofficial NBC News tally. The venue, founded by and named for entertainment mogul Tyler Perry, is likely to feature a smaller number of candidates than the dozen who participated in the October debate in Ohio. The November debate is also slated to be shorter than that square-off, running from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

The debate will air live on MSNBC and stream on MSNBC.com and the Post's website as well as across mobile devices through NBC News' and the Post's mobile apps.

To qualify for the stage, candidates have to meet fundraising and polling criteria laid out by the Democratic National Committee, which includes hitting at least 3 percent in four qualifying state or national polls or 5 percent in two qualifying state polls. The fundraising threshold requires candidates to have received contributions from 165,000 unique donors, including 600 unique donors in 20 states.

The nine candidates who appear to have qualified to date are former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; billionaire activist Tom Steyer; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Two other candidates appear to have reached the fundraising threshold, but are short on the polling requirements. They include Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and former Housing Secretary Julián Castro.