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Democratic forum 2016 live stream: time, TV schedule, and how to watch online

Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images

The Democratic candidates for president will gather on Monday, January 25, for a "town hall" forum in Iowa that will be televised from 9 to 11 pm Eastern. The forum will be aired on CNN, and an online live stream will be available at CNN.com — but you'll have to log in with a cable account to see it.

The event, held exactly one week before primary season voting begins with the Iowa caucuses on February 1, will be moderated by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo at Drake University in Des Moines.

This is the biggest audience candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley are likely to see before Iowa, so expect them to have their final pitches ready.

What makes this a "town hall" instead of a debate?

In previous debates, the candidates got to take turns directly responding to one another.

In this town hall format, by contrast, the candidates will take the stage one at a time to answer questions from an audience.

That will, unfortunately, probably reduce the back-and-forth fireworks we saw at the South Carolina debate held earlier this month.

But with polls showing the race tightening and Clinton even trailing in some early states, it's hard to imagine the frontrunners not drawing sharp contrasts with the other candidates. It could be interesting to watch the candidates try and trade jabs while adhering to this different "town hall" format.

How many more of these things are there?

The Democratic debate schedule has been subject to lots of criticism and bickering over the past several months, with critics accusing the Democratic National Committee of intentionally scheduling them at unpopular times to minimize viewership.

The DNC has denied those criticisms. Whatever the truth, there's wide interest in the contest: Though held on a Sunday, the last debate drew more than 10 million viewers and had among the highest ratings in Democratic debate history, according to CNN's Brian Stelter.

Currently, there are just two more actual debates scheduled after this town hall:

  1. On February 11, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  2. On March 9, in Miami, Florida

Vox's Andrew Prokop compiled a rundown of the entire debate schedule — including the Republican primary and the general election.

How to watch the forum

When: 9 pm Eastern

Where: Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

TV: CNN

Online: A live stream will be available at CNN.com, but you'll need to log in with a cable account to see it.