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Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will probably face just each other at the March Democratic debate

Biden and Sanders on debate stage
Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles, Calif.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times )

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will probably be the only candidates on stage at the next presidential debate on March 15 after the Democratic National Committee raised the requirements.

The former vice president and the Vermont senator are the only two remaining candidates who have met the DNC’s new delegate threshold, which it announced Friday. Candidates need to win at least 20% of all pledged delegates from states that will have held primaries and caucuses by March 15 to qualify for the Arizona debate, which will be the 11th one in the 2020 Democratic race.

Five primaries and one caucus will take place Tuesday. By the day of the debate, 28 jurisdictions will have held their contests.

So far, Biden and Sanders have won more than 500 delegates each. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is the only other prominent Democratic candidate who is still running, but it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to meet the threshold.

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She has not qualified for any Democratic debate this year and she has failed to garner national support in recent primary elections, winning just two delegates from American Samoa.

It’s down to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Meet the two remaining contenders fighting for the Democratic nomination and to face President Trump in 2020.

Five candidates who appeared at the last debate in South Carolina on Feb. 25 have since dropped out.

The DNC has a 12th debate on its schedule but the date and location have not yet been determined.


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