Updated Feb 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What to know about the South Carolina Democratic debate

2020 candidates at the Nov. 20 Democratic debate in Atlanta. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

CBS anchors Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell will be the two main moderators for the upcoming Democratic debate in South Carolina, the network announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The Feb. 25 debate in Charleston, South Carolina, is the final one before the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29 and Super Tuesday on March 3. The debate will run from 8-10 p.m. ET. It will air live on CBS, BET and Twitter, with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute joining CBS News as partners.

  • The debate will also see both billionaire candidates — former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — take the stage together for the first time.

The hosts:

  • CBS News' Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell will moderate. They will be joined for questioning by Margaret Brennan, Major Garrett and Bill Whitaker.

The criteria:

  • Candidates must receive at least 10% in four polls approved by the DNC, 12% in two South Carolina polls, or win at least one pledged delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada.
  • The qualifying window for polls begins on Feb. 4 and ends a minute before midnight ET on Feb. 24.

The candidates who have qualified:

  1. Joe Biden
  2. Elizabeth Warren
  3. Bernie Sanders
  4. Pete Buttigieg
  5. Amy Klobuchar
  6. Mike Bloomberg
  7. Tom Steyer

Go deeper: Phoenix to host Democratic debate in March

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show that the South Carolina debate will be held Feb. 25 (not Feb. 23).

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What to know about the South Carolina Democratic primary

A bicyclist rides pass campaign signs for Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Tom Steyer the day before the primary in North Charleston, S.C. Photo: Joshua Lott / AFP via Getty Images

South Carolina Democrats cast ballots today, the first in the South, toward picking the party's presidential nominee.

Why it matters: 61% of South Carolina's Democrats are black, and Saturday's primary is the first major test of African-American support for the candidates.

In photos: The South Carolina Democratic debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden thinks and Sen. Amy Klobuchar listens while Tom Steyer makes a point at the tenth Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images.

Candidates spoke past their allotted time, punched the air, talked over each other and at times looked into the camera and directly addressed the American public and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, the last before Saturday's primary and Super Tuesday a few days following.

Why it matters: South Carolina's contest on Saturday is a measure of African-American support for the 2020 contenders. It's the make-or-break state for former Vice President Joe Biden after he underperformed in the first three contests. It's also a chance to check Sen. Bernie Sanders' momentum, which has eaten into Biden's lead in the state and propelled Sanders to the front of the pack.

In photos: South Carolina casts its vote for the Democratic nominee

Former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg greets supporters on Feb. 28. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The first southern U.S. state is picking a 2020 Democratic presidential nominee on Saturday, as South Carolina voters line up at polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.

Why it matters, via Axios' Fadel Allassan: 61% of South Carolina's Democrats are black, and Saturday's primary is the first major test of African-American support for the candidates.