ABC News Democratic debate live updates: Candidates face off after chaos mars Iowa results

Iowa’s final results from the first contest of the presidential cycle remain unclear, despite reaching 100% of precincts reporting late Thursday, but since the returns started slowly trickling in, the ground of the 2020 race has shifted, with the Democrats more openly and aggressively drawing contrasts between each other over their competing visions for the country.

Now, they will bring the disputes they’ve been battling out on the campaign trail to the debate stage.

Here’s how the night is unfolding. Please refresh this page for updates.

7:48 p.m. Moderators are in place and the candidates are backstage

The moderators are in place and the candidates are backstage. As a reminder:

The debate will be moderated by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” Anchor and Managing Editor David Muir and ABC News Live Anchor Linsey Davis. They will be joined in questioning by WMUR-TV Political Director Adam Sexton and WMUR-TV News Anchor Monica Hernandez.

The following candidates will appear on stage, from left to right as viewed by the audience:

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Businessman Tom Steyer

7:36 p.m. Check out ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight’s live blog analysis

ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight offers live blog analysis throughout the debate. Check them out here.

7:35 p.m. DNC Chairman Tom Perez looks past the primary season and towards the general election

“No matter what happens over the next three months, I want us to never lose sight of our ultimate goal: winning on Nov. 3, ending the worst presidency in American history,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez told audience members ahead of tonight’s debate. “That’s what we will do in 270 days.”

7:31 p.m. DNC chairman fires up crowd with speech about unity

Amid the infighting between some of the perceived front-runners in the wake of the still fully undecided contest in Iowa, Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman urged unity.

“When we are united, there is nothing we can’t accomplish,” . “When we are united, we can tackle the opioid crisis here in New Hampshire that has taken so many lives and that the president has made worse. … We can end gun violence, we can address climate change for real. We can fight,” he said.

7: 30 p.m.“World News Tonight” Anchor and Managing Editor David Muir offers insight into how local leaders see the debate

World News Tonight” Anchor and Managing Editor David Muir offers insight into how local leaders see the debate.

“Local party leaders are calling this the most consequential debate they’ve ever had ahead of the New Hampshire primary, given the mess after the Iowa caucus; given the fact there’s no real front-runner.”

7:18 p.m. Supporters line up in the cold in New Hampshire

Check out these great shots of candidates’ supporters braving the winter weather to show their support.

And here too.

7:18 p.m. Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party: Stakes are high ahead of NH primary elections

“This is going to be the most consequential New Hampshire primary debate in history,” Raymond Buckley, the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said.

7:16 p.m. Here’s how to watch the ABC News debate

Friday’s Democratic debate, hosted by ABC News and its Manchester, NH-based affiliate WMUR-TV, caps a tumultuous political week that included the highly contentious and deeply partisan impeachment trial of President Trump and the problem-plagued Iowa caucuses.

Without a clear front-runner, the debate in New Hampshire is the last chance for Democrats to make their case before the first-in-the-nation primary there next week.

ABC News will also be collaborating with Apple News for the event. For the first time, Apple News will provide real-time updates during a live television news event. While watching the debate on ABC News, viewers can go to the Apple News app on their iPhones and iPads to get real-time reporting, analysis and explainer guides from ABC News’ top correspondents and experts.

Read more about this unique viewing experience here.

7:15 p.m. ABC News Contributor Chris Christie says the spotlight is on Buttigieg

“What I would be focused on tonight is can Pete Buttigieg show that he’s real?” ABC News Contributor Chris Christie said, adding that attention will be on the former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor following his performance in Iowa. “More than just play defense, Pete Buttigieg has to explain to people tonight why he should be the nominee, why he’s the best person to take on Trump. I don’t know if he’s made that case yet.”

6:54 p.m. Bidens bringing Gold Star sister whose brother was killed in Afghanistan as their guest to tonight’s debate

Per the Biden campaign, Joe and Jill Biden’s guest at tonight’s debate in Manchester, New Hampshire will be Stephanie Oulette, a Gold Star sister whose brother was killed in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan.

Marine Cpl. Michael Ouellette of Manchester was killed after an improvised explosive device detonated underneath him while he was patrolling in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on March 22, 2009. Cpl. Ouellette continued to lead his squad by directing fire from his riflemen and calling in the ambush over the radio, despite his mortal wounds. Ouellette succumbed to his injuries as he was evacuated from the battlefield. His mother, Donna Ouellette, was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously in 2010.

ABC News’ Johnny Verhovek reported.

6:51 p.m. Trump Victory raises at least $25 million from 300 bundlers on Friday

President Donald Trump’s big-dollar fundraising vehicle Trump Victory raised at least $25 million on Friday after more than 300 allies of the president gathered at Mar-a-Lago for a donor “call day,” two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Among the bundlers that made calls on Friday to raise money for the president are President Trump’s family members — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Lara Trump — as well as his current and former campaign officials — Kimberly Guilfoyle, David Bossie, Corey Lewandowski and RNC chair Ronna McDaniel.

ABC News’ Will Steakin and Soorin Kim reported

6:46 p.m. Buttigieg releases new fundraising numbers

The Buttigieg campaign updates their fundraising numbers, telling ABC News they’ve raised $4 million since Tuesday at 12:01am. $1 million was raised in the last 24 hours. The campaign says 33% of that is from 30,000 new donors. Because of this new influx of cash, the campaign says they’ll be launching paid digital ad programs in Nevada and South Carolina beginning tomorrow.

ABC News’ Justin Gomez reported.

6:45 p.m. The Democratic debate is about to get underway in just over an hour

The matchup, hosted by ABC News, WMUR-TV, and Apple News, comes only four days after the Iowa caucuses and less than a week before Granite State voters head to the polls on Tuesday — marking one of their last opportunities to pitch a decisive electorate on why they should be the nominee in July.

Here is the podium order for the qualifying candidates, from left to right as viewed by the audience:

  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Businessman Tom Steyer
  • The Democratic Debate which airs from 8 p.m. (EST) to 11 p.m. (EST) will air live nationally on the ABC Television Network and locally on WMUR-TV.

    ABC News will livestream the debate on ABC News Live featured on Apple News, Roku, Hulu, AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and the ABC News site and mobile phone apps.

    WMUR-TV will also livestream the debate on and WMUR’s mobile app.

    ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan contributed to this report.

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