Journalists from ABC News and WMUR, a New Hampshire affiliate of the network, will moderate the eighth Democratic debate taking place in Manchester, New Hampshire.
The debate, hosted at St. Anselm College, will be broadcast on ABC News as well as the ABC website, beginning at 8 pm ET on Friday, February 7.
The moderators on behalf of ABC News are anchor David Muir, correspondent Linsey Davis, and anchor George Stephanopoulos, while anchor Monica Hernandez and political director Adam Sexton will represent WMUR. The debate is co-hosted by those networks and Apple News.
The timing of Friday’s debate is significant since it’s the last one before the New Hampshire primary on February 11. The event is set to feature seven candidates who’ve met the latest qualifying criteria laid out by the Democratic National Committee: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), billionaire activist Tom Steyer, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
To qualify for this debate, candidates had to hit 5 percent in four DNC-approved polls, or 7 percent in two early-state polls. They also had to reach a 225,000 individual donor threshold. Candidates could make the stage by receiving at least one pledged national convention delegate from the Iowa caucuses as well.
The moderators for Friday’s debate all cover politics in different capacities:
- Linsey Davis is an ABC News correspondent who has reported for many of the network’s programs including World News, 20/20, Good Morning America, and Nightline.
- George Stephanopoulos is ABC’s chief anchor. He hosts This Week With George Stephanopoulos and co-hosts Good Morning America.
- David Muir anchors ABC World News Tonight With David Muir and co-hosts 20/20.
- Monica Hernandez is an anchor and reporter for WMUR, where she covers the New Hampshire primary.
- Adam Sexton is the political director for WMUR, where he helps oversee coverage of the 2020 election.
The Democratic National Committee is making a concerted effort to increase the diversity of debate moderators
The DNC has made a commitment to increasing the diversity of debate moderators in the 2020 cycle, and has mandated that at least one person of color and one woman serve as a moderator in every debate.
Given how historically white and male the debate space has been, greater diversity among moderators has been a priority for advocacy groups, including NARAL, Emily’s List, and Color of Change.
In an open letter last spring, the groups urged media outlets and other organizations to ensure that at least 50 percent of the moderators running the debates were women and at least 50 percent were people of color. UltraViolet, an organization dedicated to gender equity, spearheaded the letter, which also called out sexism in political media coverage writ large.
Though the makeup of moderators hasn’t always hit that bar, thus far, the DNC has lived up to its pledge. It began the debates in Miami last June with a diverse group of moderators. The eighth debate will continue that trend: Of the five moderators, two are women of color.