First Democratic Debate Begins Tonight

The long-awaited first Democratic debate has arrived.  It will take place over two nights in Miami, with 10 candidates appearing each night. The prospective nominees will be placed on stage based on a polling average calculated earlier this month, with those polling highest at the center of the stage.

Here's an excellent New York Times overview of each candidate and some of the dynamics to watch for on night 1.

To get the roster for each night, the candidates were first divided into those polling above 2% and those below. A random drawing was then conducted within each group. Of the five candidates polling nationally at over 5%, only Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will appear tonight. 

The debate will be hosted and broadcast by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo. Broadcast time is 9:00PM to 11:00PM Eastern. The moderators are Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart. 

There will be no opening statements. Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. At the end of the two hours, each candidate can make closing remarks.

Visit 270toWin at the conclusion of the debate to participate in our snap poll of who won the night.

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