Democratic Debate

There are now no more official debates before Democrats begin voting.

Tuesday night's debate was the last before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, and it featured six of the 12 remaining candidates — the top four of whom polls show to be neck and neck.

Democratic primary voters got a substantive debate in which the candidates clashed over what it means to be commander in chief, gender politics and, of course, health care.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday night's debate:

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET

We're up to the seventh debate, and down to six candidates.

The leading Democratic presidential candidates return to the debate stage Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET — this time in Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation caucuses in less than three weeks.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

Viewers tuning in for the latest Democratic presidential candidates' debate Tuesday night may sense something missing in Des Moines.

Atlanta's Tyler Perry Studios has been home to Wakanda, the White House and The Walking Dead, but on Wednesday night it will host its most topical production yet: the next Democratic presidential primary debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke gave a staunch defense of his gun control plan during Thursday's Democratic presidential primary debate, saying that as president, he would prioritize mandatory buybacks of assault-style weapons.

Quoting the candidate's past comment about selling back AR-15s and AK-47s, moderator David Muir asked O'Rourke: "Are you proposing taking away their guns? And how would this work?"

O'Rourke answered, "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47."

Here's more of what he said:

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September's Democratic presidential debate has been narrowed to one night only, as more candidates have called it quits altogether.

The first leg of the second round of Democratic presidential debates is over, and now it's on to Night 2.

Center stage features former Vice President Joe Biden, who has a lot on the line. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has been promising attacks on Biden's racial justice record, and Biden is promising to not be as "polite" as he was in the last debate. Night 1 also drew a bold line between moderates and progressives onstage.

Updated July 30

This week's debate could be the last onstage appearance for more than half of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

With more stringent qualification rules from the Democratic National Committee set to severely limit who will make the debate stage in September, lower-tier candidates are now facing a do-or-die moment this Tuesday and Wednesday in Detroit.

JOE RAEDLE GETTY IMAGES

In Florida, immigration is a hot-button issue for voters. And during two nights of Democratic debates last week, many of the 20 candidates repeatedly leveled criticism of Trump’s immigration policies and his handling of the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Some even spoke in Spanish. 

But was that enough to satisfy Florida Democratic voters? 

At least one prominent Florida Republican called out the debate’s moderators and the candidates for failing to bring up the immigration issues that most affect the state.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls debated this week about everything from healthcare to higher education to gun violence.

Notably missing from both nights — Latin America policy. Four hours of debate in Miami — the gateway to the Americas — and not a mention of Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua (what the Trump administration has called the "troika of tyranny").

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

In a Fortune Article released earlier this week, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam blasted the Democratic National Committee’s system he claims prevented him from qualifying for the first 2020 Democratic presidential debates. 

Messam, the son of Jamaican immigrants, grew up in rural South Bay, Florida. His father cut sugarcane as a contract farm worker, and his mother fed migrant field workers. 

It's Round 2 of the first Democratic primary debate in Miami. The stage is headliner-heavy with former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

Twenty candidates have made it to the first round of Democratic primary debates. Ten take the stage Wednesday night, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the center. Night 2, on Thursday, will include former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The two-hour debate, hosted by NBC News/MSNBC/Telemundo, starts at 9 p.m. ET both nights.

As you watch, follow NPR's live blog for analysis and fact checks of the candidates' statements.

Updated at 7:19 pm. ET

If you pull up YouTube for squirrels on water skis, the latest Taylor Swift music video or the Democratic debate Wednesday night, you'll notice something prominently displayed at the top of the page — a banner ad paid for by the Trump campaign.

President Trump's campaign is counterprogramming the debate and making a point — he is the president, running for reelection while Democrats are running against each other.

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