Do you and your friends want to debate tonight’s Democratic Party presidential candidate debate — in person, with a drink, rather than by texting back and forth on your smart phone?
The Abbey in West Hollywood is one of five sites in Los Angeles County where Democratic Party organizations and campaigns will conduct viewing parties for tonight’s debate. The Abbey also will host a viewing party for the Thursday debate. There also will be a viewing party for Thursday’s debate at Beaches WeHo, 8928 Santa Monica Blvd., that will be attended by members of Kamala Nation, a group supporting Kamala Harris, and LA for Pete, a group supporting Pete Buttigieg.
Tonight’s debate will begin at 6 p.m. and be televised by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. It will be streamed by NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, NBC News NOW, NoticiasTelemundo.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Under rules set by the Democratic National Committee, candidates needed to either register 1% support in three qualified polls or have 65,000 unique donors to their campaign, with a minimum of 200 donors in at least 20 states, to qualify for the debate.
The 20 candidates who qualified were divided into two groups of 10 in a drawing Friday. In an effort to avoid grouping lesser-known candidates together on one night and high-profile candidates on the other, candidates were divided into two groups — those who polled on average at or above 2% through June 12 and those who polled on average below 2% through midnight on Wednesday. A random draw then took place, to create two groupings of 10.
The Abbey is located at 692 N. Robertson Blvd, south of Santa Monica Boulevard. There also will be watch parties at:
— 6th and La Brea, 600 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles;
— The Gaslite, 2030 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica;
— The Gramercy, 2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; and
— 9401 Oakmore Road, Beverlywood.
The candidates position on the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami was determined by their standings in qualifying public polling through June 12.
Top polling candidates were placed at the center positions, with lower polling contenders being placed closer to the edges of the stage. Candidates who were tied in the polls were ranked based on the overall number of qualifying polls.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will be in the middle tonight.
Standing from left to right will be New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; Warren; O’Rourke; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney.
This will be the first time more than one woman has been on stage for a presidential primary debate.
“NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie and “Noticias Telemundo” anchor Jose Diaz-Balart will moderate the first hour. Holt will also appear in the second hour, which “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow will moderate.
Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups.
A second 10-candidate debate will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday with watch parties set for the following locations (as well as Beaches WeHo):
— The Abbey, 692 N Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood;
— Dave & Buster’s, The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, 6081 Center Drive, Westchester;
— Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Windward Ave., Venice;
— Earth, Wind, and Flour, 2222 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, and
— The Game Sports Bar, 5630 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester.