In 496 days, it will be time to pull the lever in the 2020 election. Yes, that may seem like an agonizingly long time, but there’s a lot to get through before that time—primaries, conventions, and a few million Russian spambots assuring us that Donald Trump has the endorsement of the Pope, Shinola, and even that dentist who doesn’t like sugarless gum.
And the first big event of the whole shebang kicks off on Wednesday night with the first round of Democratic primary debates.
An even 20 candidates have made it over the hurdles to be included in these first debates, but to prevent having a stadium half-full of candidates, the DNC divided this session into two nights with 10 candidates each. Unlike Republicans in 2016, who used popularity to divide candidates into kind of a serious pool and a kiddie table, Democrats have been more … democratic. The luck of the draw has put some of the biggest names together on Thursday evening, but that doesn’t mean that Wednesday is going to be all people on stage that have America scratching its collective head and saying, “Who?” Far from it. Wednesday still has a share of the big names. But because it’s a little less top-loaded, it might also end up being a bit more interesting, as lesser-known candidates may get a little more chance to shine.
In any case, even with the crew cut in half, don’t really think of this as a debate. Ten people on stage is not a debate. It’s a multi-person Q&A session, with a few opportunities for cross chat.
Wednesday Night 9PM ET / 6PM PT
- Senator Cory Booker
- Mayor Bill de Blasio
- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
- Former Rep. John Delaney
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
- Gov. Jay Inslee
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke
- Rep. Tim Ryan
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren
This first debate is hosted by NBC News and Telemundo. It will be carried live on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. And, of course, it will be live-blogged on Daily Kos. Get your popcorn ready, gather the family, and prepare to see a whole lot of people who would be infinitely better than Trump.