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A dozen Democrats set to take stage at 4th primary debate

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Democratic presidential candidates take the stage prior to the CNN/New York Times Democratic debate Tuesday. Photo by Robert Moorhead/UPI
Democratic presidential candidates take the stage prior to the CNN/New York Times Democratic debate Tuesday. Photo by Robert Moorhead/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The fourth Democratic primary debate will be staged in central Ohio Tuesday night and feature a dozen candidates on the stage, from a still expansive pool of hopefuls in which seven failed to qualify.

The debate will begin at 8 p.m. EDT at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. It will be broadcast by CNN and NPR.

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Who made the cut

Of the 19 Democratic candidates, 12 qualified for the debate, which required more stringent criteria.

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Those who will debate include former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen Amy Klobuchar, former housing secretary Julian Castro, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Indiana mayor Pete Buttgieg, businessman Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, activist Tom Steyer and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will appear after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago.

The debate will be moderated by CNN anchors Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper and New York Times National Editor Marc Lacey.

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The debate's heightened requirements included at least 2 percent support in four early state or national polls and 130,000 unique donors. Both Steyer and Gabbard qualified this time, despite not making the cut in the third debate in Houston last month.

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Just 10 candidates participated in the last debate, but Tuesday's 12 will all share the stage -- as opposed to splitting the debates over two nights, as the first and second did with a larger participant pool. Tuesday's will feature the most women on a single presidential debate stage in U.S. history.

Who missed the cut

Seven candidates will not be on the stage -- Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, author Marianne Williamson and Florida mayor Wayne Messam.

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Experts expect the pool to shrink further in the following primary debates. The party said last month even more stringent requirements must be met to qualify going forward -- 3 percent support in the four early voting states or national polls and 165,000 donors.

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So far, just five candidates have qualified for the Nov. 20 debate in Georgia -- Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris and Buttgieg. The venue and format have yet to be announced.

What will they talk about?

The House's impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump is expected to be a topic of discussion, and how it relates to Biden's involvement over his son's professional dealings in Ukraine. Most Democratic candidates have voiced support for the impeachment inquiry.

Healthcare is also sure to be discussed, as several candidates have unveiled plans to reform or enhance the healthcare system. Biden has said he would effectively build on the Affordable Care Act, while Sanders and Warren support "Medicare For All" plans.

Questions about the economy, the trade conflict with China, tensions with Russia and Iran and gun violence are also expected to be posed to the candidates.

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