The debate will be the third that CNN has sponsored this cycle. CNN also simulcast last month’s presidential debate that was hosted by PBS and Politico.
Blitzer is host of The Situation Room and Phillip is a political correspondent. Pfannenstiel is chief political correspondent for the Register. So far, five candidates have qualified, according to CNN, including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar.
Candidates need to have received at least 5% support in four national or early state polls, or 7% in two early state polls. They also need to have reached at least 225,000 unique donors. The deadline for qualification is Friday.
The Jan. 14 debate, to be held at Drake University in Des Moines, will be the final one before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3. The Democratic National Committee also has scheduled three other debates, for Feb. 7 in Manchester, NH; Feb. 19 in Las Vegas; and Feb. 25 in Charleston, SC.
Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang, who were in the December debate, are struggling to qualify. Cory Booker, who did not make the last debate but did qualify for the previous ones, also has not met the thresholds. Mike Bloomberg is self-financing his campaign, meaning that he cannot meet the donor requirement, but he has scheduled an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on the night of the next debate.