Democratic Presidential Debate Lineup Sees Rematch Between Biden and Harris

Democratic presidential candidates from left, author Marianne Williamson, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice-President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., wave as they enter the stage for the second night of the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

DETROIT (CN) – The candidate lineup for the second Democratic presidential debate later this month at Fox Theater in downtown Detroit was announced via live random draws on CNN Thursday evening and will feature another face-to-face between former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Anderson Cooper hosted the draws on a special edition of his show “Anderson Cooper 360” as viewers watched the line-up set in real time for a two-night debate where candidates will try to tune up their message and gain traction in a blue-collar state that President Donald Trump won in the 2016 election. It was the first win for a Republican candidate in Michigan since George H.W. Bush in 1988.

The 20 qualifying candidates were announced yesterday and left a few hopefuls looking in from the outside. Recent entrant into the field Tom Steyer, a wealthy hedge fund manager, was excluded as well as former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. The candidates needed at least 1% support in relevant polling and 65,000 unique campaign donors with a bare minimum of 200 in at least 20 states.

The draw was broken up into three parts to determine the lineups. During the draw, a series of blue-colored cards with a candidate’s name were placed into a dedicated box, while a second box held cards printed with the date of each night. CNN anchors Brianna Keilar, Victor Blackwell and Ana Cabrera retrieved name cards from the first box then matched it with a date card from the second box.

Keilar shuffled the blue cards and placed them in two boxes for the first draw as camera angles reminiscent of a reality game show peered from overhead. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was the first pick and found out he will take the stage on the second night on July 31. Joining him for that debate will be Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Washington State Gov. Jay Insley and New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand.

The first draw also confirmed five for the first night on July 30, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan found out he will appear with former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Maryland Rep. John Delaney, author Marianne Williamson and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.

Bill de Blasio, already dangerously low in most polls, generated the wrong kind of buzz recently when he was criticized for his hands-off response to the power blackout that hit New York City as he campaigned in Iowa.  Most New Yorkers say the mayor is wasting his time according to a poll by Quinnipiac University.

Bullock, left out of the first debates in June, will be allowed to participate since California Rep. Eric Swalwell dropped out earlier this month.

Cory Booker was the first pick of the second draw and will appear on the second night. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was the next pick and will appear on Tuesday. Businessman Andrew Yang was the third pick of the draw and will debate on the second night. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke was next and found out he will appear on the first night. Julian Castro, former HUD Secretary, will debate on the second night. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg will appear on the first night.

O’Rourke, who generated tens of millions of donations during his fun for a senate seat has struggled to maintain enthusiasm about his presidential campaign.

Booker recently released his plans for immigration and said he wanted to end the raids on schools and churches.

Buttigieg recently unveiled an ambitious plan to tackle racism on several fronts including the banishment of privately owned federal prisons.

The front-runners were held for the last draw as Cabrera drew Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as the first pick. She will debate on the first night. California Sen. Kamala Harris was the next pick and will appear the second night. Former Vice President Joe Biden was the third pick and will debate the second night along with Harris, in a sequel to the first contentious debate that saw Harris criticize Biden for his voting record on school bussing desegregation.  Seasoned candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will appear on the first night.

Biden sits atop most polls currently but Harris has surged and is in a virtual tie with him in the State of California. Biden stated recently one of his goals as president is to defend Obamacare rigorously. He maintains a lead over Harris and Warren in New Hampshire in a poll released Monday.

Sanders said he wants to expand Medicare to everyone.

“Frankly, I am sick and tired of talking to doctors who tell me about the patients who died because they came into their offices too late because they were uninsured or underinsured,” Sanders said recently.

The debates will be broadcast on CNN on Tuesday July 30 and July 31.


July 30:

Marianne Williamson

Tim Ryan

Amy Klobuschar

Pete Buttigieg

Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

Beto O’Rourke

John Hickenlooper

John Delaney

Steve Bullock


July 31st:

Michael Bennet

Kristin Gillibrand

Julian Castro

Cory Booker

Joe Biden

Kamala Harris

Andrew Yang

Tulsi Gabbard

Jay Inslee

Bill de Blasio


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