Speed Reads

2020 Democratic debates

ABC released its Democratic debate podium chart: Yang rises, Warren's to Biden's left, Sanders to his right

The next Democratic presidential debate will be one night only, Sept. 12, with 10 Democrats making the cut. Fans of Marianne Williamson, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, and some of the other still-running Democrats who didn't qualify for the debate will no doubt be disappointed, as will New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and billionaire Tom Steyer. Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida, also did not meet the necessary fundraising or polling thresholds.

But the Yang Gang should be pleased with the podium chart unveiled by ABC News on Thursday: Andrew Yang is closer to the center than two sitting senators — Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) — former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas), and a former Cabinet secretary, Julián Castro. Former Vice President Joe Biden is officially center-stage, polling highest in most surveys, but he will effectively share the center with the official No. 2 in the race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), because math.

Warren, a progressive champion, will be to the more moderate Biden's left — but don't read anything into that, because Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a proud democratic socialist, has been situated to Biden's right.

But as ABC News notes, the bigger drama should be the new combinations of candidates who can spar onstage, notably Biden vs. Warren.