7 Democrats face off in final presidential debate of 2019

Sixth Democratic presidential debate
Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 19, 2019

LOS ANGELES — The smallest and least diverse group of candidates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary will take the debate stage in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

This is the sixth debate for the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, who will compete in the Iowa caucus in early February.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, businessman Tom Steyer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and businessman Andrew Yang will share the stage at Loyola Marymount University at 8 p.m.

Eight candidates didn't make the cut, including Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who said she wouldn't have attended the debate even if she qualified.

"I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina," Gabbard said in a tweet on Dec. 10.

Gabbard met the criteria of reaching 200,000 unique donors, but was one poll short of the requirement to have at least 4% in four qualifying national or early state polls, or 6% in two early state polls.

There was some controversy surrounding the location of the debate a labor dispute between a California union and a catering company. All seven candidates who qualified for Thursday's debate promised not to appear at the debate if it meant they had to cross the picket line. On Tuesday morning, a deal between the two groups was reached.