Seven of the Democratic candidates for president will take the stage Friday in New Hampshire, ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday, in a debate hosted by ABC News. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reached the established donor and polling thresholds and will compete in this debate.
Notably absent from the debate stage is former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg. Despite the exorbitant amount of money Mayor Bloomberg has spent on advertisements and campaign staff, he did not qualify for this debate. The DNC did alter the debate qualifications for the next debate on February 19th by eliminating the individual donor requirement, which will allow Mayor Bloomberg to be present on the debate stage in Las Vegas. This alteration unleashed backlash from progressives, who claim Bloomberg is buying the election.
Friday evening’s debate comes on the heels of the complete disaster in Iowa, following the state’s caucuses. Pete Buttigieg was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses by a slim margin over Sen. Bernie Sanders, but the chaos and errors in the release of the caucus have stirred controversy in the Democratic Party.
After his previous feud with Sen. Warren, Sen. Sanders is painting Pete Buttigieg as a friend of billionaires, in hopes of winning the New Hampshire primary.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is no longer the clear frontrunner in this primary and Sen. Warren’s surge appears to be over, so this primary is anyone’s to win. After Iowa, Buttigieg and Sanders are competing for the top spot. The three-hour debate leaves plenty of time for personal attacks among the White House contenders.
Friday’s debate begins at 8p.m. EST.