Your guide to the Democratic presidential primary debate in central Ohio

Political News

Biggest Debate Ever

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH/AP) – With 12 candidates on the debate stage Tuesday, there were just about as many moving parts inside and outside the Rike Center at Otterbein University.

The candidates spent much of the day preparing for the contest, the fourth of the 2020 Presidential Election campaign.

The debate marks the first time the candidates will meet since the House moved forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. While they are united on that issue, the debate will again expose a political party struggling to coalesce around a unifying message or messenger with the first primary contest just over three months away.

Just how the candidates will address the pending impeachment remains to be seen.

The following candidates have met the polling threshold for the Oct. 15 debate:

  1. Joe Biden
    former Vice President
  2. Sen. Cory Booker
    New Jersey
  3. Mayor Pete Buttigieg
    South Bend, Indiana
  4. Julián Castro
    former Obama housing secretary
  5. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  6. Sen. Kamala Harris
  7. Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  8. Beto O’Rourke
    former Texas congressman
  9. Sen. Bernie Sanders
  10. Tom Steyer
    activist, businessman
  11. Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  12. Andrew Yang
    tech entrepreneur

PREVIOUS STORY: 12 candidates qualify for 4th Democratic presidential debate at Otterbein University

Expect influx of traffic, people

Supporters of the democratic candidates as well as protesters are expected to flood uptown Westerville.

The city tells NBC4 they are not requiring permits to protest but rather have designated a “Free Speech” zone on Main St. between Knox and Center Streets. That zone is the only place where demonstrations will be permitted.

MORE: Westerville police chief issues warnings ahead of Democratic debate
MORE: School choice group among protestors set for Otterbein debate
MORE: Otterbein, Westerville preparing for Democratic debate

Parking will also be at a premium as several streets near and on campus will be shut down.

CLICK HERE to enlarge Westerville debate road closure map

CLICK HERE for more information on the city’s plan.

Where to watch

22News will host an extended, commercial-free digital show from Otterbein University from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Our digital coverage will continue during the debate with live, interactive questions viewers can answer during the debate reacting to all of the action on the WWLP-22News app or

The debate airs from 8 to 11 p.m. on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and streams on‘s homepage and’s homepage.


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