HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Houston will take the national spotlight tonight as Texas Southern University hosts the third Democratic presidential debate.
Ten presidential contenders will be on one stage together for one night only. This is the first time that Senator Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden will be on the same stage together. The latest Quinnipiac poll of Texas Democrats shows Biden with a 10-point lead over both Senator Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders.
Tonight's debate is expected to give the candidates one of the largest audiences that they have seen during the campaign season so far.
Preparations for tonight's event have been underway all week at TSU. This is a big moment for the university and the City of Houston. This is only the second time that Houston has hosted a televised Democratic debate. The other time was 1987 when Biden took the stage as he made his run for the White House.
Ten candidates made the cut for the debate tonight: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Representative Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Amy Klobuchar, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Andrew Yang.
The candidates tonight will likely focus on gun laws, climate control, healthcare and immigration. During this debate, candidates will deliver an opening statement, but unlike previous debates, there will be no closing statements. They will be given one minute and 15 seconds to respond to direct questions and 45 seconds for rebuttals. The debate begins at 7 p.m. CT.
The Trump campaign will counter the Democrats' debate tonight by flying a massive banner over Houston for four hours this afternoon. The banner will say, “Socialism will kill Houston’s economy.” The banner is set to fly before the debate between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The president's campaign is taking ads out in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio newspapers.
After the debate, starting at 11 p.m., the Texas and Harris County Democratic parties are hosting a midnight rally at Hughes Manor on Washington Avenue. Mayor Sylvester Turner will be there with Julian Castro and Cory Booker.