The debate’s opening moments are underway.
CNN has declared the second Democratic debate underway. The 10 candidates took the stage one at a time, with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren entering first to loud applause and giving each other a brief hug. Eight other Democrats followed, after which an honor guard presented the colors and some of the candidates and audience members took part in the singing the national anthem.
After a commercial break, the candidates will deliver opening statements.
The final hour before the debate was like a long commercial for the Democratic Party and its leadership, as CNN offered live coverage of party officials and liberal leaders taking shots at President Trump in speech after speech at the Fox Theater in Detroit.
“Democrats have your back on the issues that matter most,” Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, shouted from the stage, “while the president has had a knife in your back.”
It was just one of numerous sharp lines Mr. Perez delivered. (He also said Mr. Trump gave “big Pharma a big fat tax cut.”) One that garnered particular loud applause was a rejoinder to Mr. Trump’s recent Twitter tirade against Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader and media personality.
“Reverend Sharpton, thank you for your leadership,” Mr. Perez said.
How similar are supporters for Sanders and Warren?
The face-off between Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren has been billed as the marquee matchup of Tuesday’s debate. The two progressive standard-bearers share much in common in terms of policy, and at first glance they seem similarly situated in the polls: They each hold around 15 percent in the most recent surveys, placing them in a rough tie for second place behind Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president. But there’s more divergence in their supporters than one might think.
Ms. Warren draws from a whiter, more affluent and better-educated group of Democrats; Mr. Sanders’s supporters, on the other hand, are younger, more diverse, less affluent and less likely to have graduated from college.
And while Ms. Warren’s gains over the last several months might seem to have come at the expense of Mr. Sanders, it is not so clear whether the two candidates are competing for the same group of voters. Polls show that Senator Kamala Harris, not Mr. Sanders, is the second choice for a plurality of Ms. Warren’s supporters, according to Morning Consult polls. Perhaps surprisingly, Mr. Biden is the second choice for a plurality of Mr. Sanders’s supporters. Should either falter, it is not obvious that the other stands to make outsize gains, at least in the polls.