2nd 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate Watch

Photo shows (left to right) Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) former Chair John Boyd, DAPh Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan, DAPh Vice-Chair Angelo Goode, and DAPh Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Coordinator Brian Borlongan watching the second Democratic presidential primary debate on CNN at Union Jack Tavern, Makati City on August 1, 2019.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is committed to an inclusive approach, and has taken extensive steps to run fair and transparent Democratic presidential primary debates to ensure this historically large field of candidates gets the opportunity to make their case on the debate stage to a wide audience. And Democrats Abroad's North Star has always been to:

  1. Give the grassroots a bigger voice than ever before
  2. Showcase our candidates
  3. Have a debate on the issues, not hand size
  4. Reach as many voters as possible.

DA Philippines watched the Second 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate on Wednesday July 31 and Thursday August 1, 2019 from 8-10am at Union Jack Tavern, 105 VA Rufino corner Esteban Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City.

20 candidates joined the second Democratic presidential primary debate in Detroit, Michigan. On Night 1: Gov Steve Bullock, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep John Delaney, Gov John Hickenlooper, Sen Amy Klobuchar, Rep Beto O’Rourke, Rep Tim Ryan, Sen Bernie Sanders, Sen Elizabeth Warren, Ms Marianne Williamson. And Night 2: Sen Michael Bennet, Vice President Joe Biden, Sen Cory Booker, Sec Julian Castro, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep Tulsi Gabbard, Sen Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen Kamala Harris, Gov Jay Inslee, Mr Andrew Yang. 12 debates total, which is double the number of debates first announced in 2016. The debate occurred over the course of two nights to make room for candidates, which was never done before prior to this cycle.

The DNC added a grassroots fundraising component to the threshold to empower small-dollar donors, ensuring the debate stage is as inclusive as possible. Setting this benchmark for campaigns encourages and rewards them for engaging in work the DNC believes they absolutely must do in order to beat Donald Trump. And the DNC asked media partners to commit to a woman and a person of color moderating each debate—celebrate diversity!

Official CNN link to second night's debate, here.

The way we win is by reaching voters and organizing everywhere. That is why the DNC, state parties and voters across the country and around the world—including 100 through Democrats Abroad—host watch parties, to hear firsthand from the candidates about their ideas for the American people.

The DNC negotiated with its media partners to ensure the debate was held in prime time and on two consecutive weeknights—something unprecedented for either the Democratic or Republican party. The lineups for each night were selected through a process that ensures no candidate begins the debate calendar at an immediate disadvantage because they've been relegated to a 'kids table' debate.


The American people saw leadership on stage at the second Democratic presidential primary debate. They saw candidates who are laser-focused on the future. And they saw a debate on the issues. The contrast with Donald Trump was clear—this debate focused on the policy solutions to serious problems. We didn't hear candidates talk about hand-size. They talked about:

  1. Gun violence—no matter what candidate or where a candidate is from, everyone believes we need to act on gun violence, while Republicans have done nothing
  2. Healthcare—everyone on that stage agrees we need to expand access to healthcare, not take it away
  3. Economy
  4. Climate Change
  5. Immigration.

What’s the biggest takeaway? As Americans, it's clear the Democratic Party has our back. No matter which one of our exceptional candidates clinches the nomination, the American people know they'll have a leader they can trust. Any candidate on that stage would be a better president than Donald Trump.

Debate #3 will take place September 12, 2019 (and potentially 13th) in Dallas, Texas. The June and July debates, Debate #1 and Debate #2 respectively, were more lenient and gave as many candidates as possible the opportunity to introduce themselves to America. Future debates, beginning with September, require candidates to reach a much higher bar:

  1. Polling—at least 2% in four national polls
  2. Donors—at least 130,000 unique donors, with at least 400 unique donors in 20 or more states.

In other words, if a candidate totaled their number of donors per state, at least 20 states have to have at least 400 donors. Candidates must reach both requirements to qualify. This is double the 1% polling threshold and a 65,000 donor minimum from the past two rounds, when candidates only had to clear one of the two bars. We'll know which candidates qualified at the end of August. By the end of July, seven candidates qualified, three candidates met one requirement, and 15 have yet to reach either requirement. Candidates who don't qualify for September could still qualify for October. The requirements will be the same, but they'll have more time to meet that threshold.

Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for US citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the DNC, with eight positions on the DNC, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.

If you are not yet a member of Democrats Abroad, you can become one by signing up at DemocratsAbroad.org. Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines homepage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Press Contact: Email Democrats Abroad Philippines at da-ph@democratsabroad.org.