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3 CNN correspondents will moderate the second Democratic debate

They are Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon.

CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.
CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, one of the moderators of the next Democratic debates.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

A trio of CNN’s most prominent correspondents — Jake Tapper, Don Lemon, and Dana Bash — will moderate the second round of Democratic debates in Detroit on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The moderators, like those in the first round of debates last month, will have a hefty responsibility. With a full stage of 10 candidates each on both nights, the trio will be pivotal to steering the focus of the conversation and ensuring that each person has a chance to make their case.

Tapper, Lemon, and Bash will moderate on both nights, for the full two-plus hour affair starting at 8 pm ET. All three are currently anchors and political correspondents on CNN:

Jake Tapper: Tapper is the anchor of The Lead with Jake Tapper, which airs daily on weekdays. He also hosts State of the Union, a Sunday show on the network, and is CNN’s chief Washington correspondent.

Don Lemon: Lemon is an anchor for CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, which airs daily.

Dana Bash: Bash is the network’s chief political correspondent, covering Congress.

As USA Today reports, the format of the debate will be similar to the ones that took place last month, though it allows more time for opening remarks from each candidate:

The ten candidates on stage each night will have the opportunity to give opening and closing statements as part of two hours of scheduled debate time each night. They will be given 60 seconds to respond to a question from a moderator, and 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s debates will air live on CNN and online at, starting at 8 pm.

The Democratic National Committee is making a concerted effort to increase the diversity of debate moderators

The Democratic National Committee has made a commitment to increasing the diversity of debate moderators this cycle, and agreed to include at least one person of color and one woman in every debate.

Given how historically white and male the debate space has been, greater diversity among moderators on the stage has been a priority for advocacy groups, including NARAL, Emily’s List, and Color of Change.

Thus far, the DNC has lived up to its pledge.

During the June debates in Miami, four of the five moderators involved were women or people of color, and just one was a white man. Tuesday and Wednesday will continue that trend: Of CNN’s three moderators, one is black, another is a woman.