Second Democrat Debate: CNN Insulates Joe Biden from Elizabeth Warren


Kamala Harris, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will face off while Bernie Sanders takes on Elizabeth Warren during the two-night Democratic presidential debate in Detroit later this month.

The second round of debates probably won't feature Beto O'Rourke at center stage. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Steve Bullock, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen.

The draws were held in three section to ensure that the top candidates were spread evenly between the two nights.

The candidates who won't make the second debate are Seth Moulton, congressman from MA and Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida. Warren, Sanders, Harris and Biden were put into their own drawing, so two of the four would appear each night.

But on Thursday night, the star of the show was CNN itself, which took more than 40 minutes to pull 20 names out of boxes, documenting the drawing with bird's-eye camera angles and deputizing an eight-person panel of experts to provide analysis ("There is a luck of the draw here, literally", said analyst Gloria Berger).

Only 20 candidates in the large primary field will debate on stage over the two nights, a cap previously set by the DNC. And the fact that Warren and Sanders will also be stage on Tuesday night gives each candidate a chance to burnish the moderate credibility by attacking a top progressive.

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But for Biden, it could be an opportunity to make a strong showing after a shaky first debate performance. Any candidate who "consistently interrupts" others will have their time reduced. If Sanders is anxious that Warren is claiming the progressive mantle from him, he could question Warren on health care, and force her to talk more about Medicare for All.

This will mark Gov. Bullock's first presidential debate since he was ineligible for NBC's debates last month.

Night 2 will be televised live on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español at 5 p.m.

Candidates had until 11 a.m. ET Wednesday to certify with the DNC that they have either achieved at least 1% support in three polls from an approved list of pollsters or received campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from 20 different states.

But based on public information, it had been clear for days that Moulton, Messam, Steyer and Sestak were the four candidates likely to miss the debate stage.

In September, the requirements will be doubled, with candidates required to meet both polling and donor qualifications.