The 2020 Democratic Candidates


Robert Gonzales

Donald Trump and the Democratic Debate are pictured above.

Robert Gonzales, Journalist

The 2020 presidential “race” is in full swing, and there’s a mind boggling number of Democratic primary candidates competing for the party’s official spot. Luckily for us, the voters, the debates have officially begun. Here is everything you need to know about the September Democratic Debates.

The third Democratic presidential primary debate took place on Thursday, Sept. 12, in Houston, Texas. ABC News in partnership with Univision hosted the debate at Texas Southern University, a public, historically black university. The debates aired from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT.

Each candidate had one minute and 15 seconds to directly respond to questions from moderators and 45 seconds to respond to follow-up questions and rebuttals. Each candidate gave an opening statement, however did not but provide any closing statements.

The candidates were opted to stand on stage based on their polling averages, with the higher polling candidates near the center of the stage.

The DNC had announced that if more than 10 candidates qualified, it would have held a second debate on Sept. 13. However, despite strong pushes from candidates who were close to qualifying, such as billionaire hedge-fund founder Tom Steyer, only 10 candidates qualified and the debate remained on one night.

To qualify, each candidate needed to have received 2% or more support in at least four DNC-approved polls released between June 28 and Aug. 28. The candidates also needed at least 130,000 unique donors, with 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. The donations must have been received by 11:59 p.m. Aug. 28.

The following candidates are those who made the cut: Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, 50, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 37, Former HUD Sec. Julián Castro, 44, California Sen. Kamala Harris, 54,  Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 59,  Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, 46, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 77, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 70, and Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, 44.


Biden represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009, and served as President Barack Obama’s Vice President for two terms. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]

Booker is the first African American Senator from New Jersey and previously served as mayor of Newark, N.J., from 2006 to 2013. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]
Buttigieg was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve between 2009 and 2017, and has served as mayor of South Bend, Ind. since 2012. If he wins the primary, he would be the first openly gay presidential nominee for a major political party. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]
Castro served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama between 2014 and 2017, and previously was the mayor of his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, between 2009 and 2014. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]
Kamala Harris is the kind of Democrat who could stick around and prevail in what is sure to be a gruelling nomination battle. Harris came up through California politics, serving as the District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011 and the Attorney General of California from 2011 until 2017. She has been California’s Junior Senator since 2017. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]

Klobuchar has represented Minnesota in the Senate since 2007, and previously served as the County Attorney for Minnesota’s most populous county, Hennepin County, from 1999 to 2007. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]

O’Rourke represented Texas’s 16th congressional district, which includes his hometown of El Paso, Texas, from 2013 to 2019. In the 2018 midterms, he ran unsuccessfully for Republican Ted Cruz’s Senate seat. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]

Sanders served as Vermont’s sole congressional representative from 1991 to 2007 and Vermont’s junior Senator since 2007. A self-described democratic socialist, Sanders ran for the 2016 Democratic nomination and lost to Sec. Hillary Clinton. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]

A former law professor specializing in bankruptcy law, Warren has served as Massachusetts’ junior Senator since 2013. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]

Yang is a technology entrepreneur who should be well prepared seeing as he announced he was running for president back in November 2017. Yang is the founder of Venture for America, a nonprofit and fellowship focused on creating jobs in cities across America, and advocates about the threat of automation. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP]

In order of left to right, the candidates will stand as follows: Klobuchar, Booker, Buttigieg, Sanders, Biden, Warren, Harris, Yang, O’Rourke and Castro. The order was based on polling averages from the last 10 polls that factored into the qualification for the debate. Candidates with the highest polling average were placed in the center.