HBCU Texas Southern University To Host Third Presidential Debates in September

The third Democratic primary debate will be hosted at Texas Southern University (TSU), a historically Black university, on September 12 and 13, ABC News announced on the July 21 broadcast of “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos. The debate, to be held at the university’s Health and Physical Education Arena, will be split into two days due to the crowded Democratic field of presidential candidates.

“As the heart and soul of Houston, Texas Southern University is proud to serve as the venue for such a prestigious event,” TSU President Dr. Austin A. Lane said in a statement. “Not only does this reflect positively on the university and the City of Houston, it also provides our students with opportunities to work directly with ABC and its partners to gain valuable experience throughout the process.”

Lane continued, “We are thankful for the strong relationship we have with proud TSU alumnus Michael Strahan, who does an incredible job at ABC and has a strong appreciation for the historic significance of our university.”

TSU’s Student Recreation Center will serve as the media center for the week of September 9 through 13. Lane said that students will gain real world experience serving as interns, runners, pages, and in other roles for ABC News and its partners.

The university’s public broadcast radio station, KTSU 90.9 FM, and its KTSU2 student streaming station will also be involved. The third presidential debate will be co-hosted by ABC News and Univision.

The first Democratic primary debate was held in Miami, Florida on June 26 and 27. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) received the two highest average ratings on their performances during the first debate. Harris also gained the most Twitter followers after her appearance, particularly after she called out former Vice President Joe Biden for opposing mandatory busing intended to integrate schools in the 1970s.

The first debates also went well for lesser-known candidates, including former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, according to FiveThirtyEight. Castro went into the debates with a favorability rating below 30 percent but was rated highly on performance.

Before the second debate, 10 presidential candidates participated in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Presidential Candidates Forum in Detroit, Michigan on July 24. The forum was moderated by Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan and was held during the NAACP’s 110th National Convention at the COBO Center.

The NAACP presidential forum included nine Democrats and one Republican primary challenger. Democrats Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren all participated in the forum. Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson spoke at the convention the day before the forum.

President Donald Trump’s primary challenger, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, was the only Republican candidate to participate in the NAACP Presidential Candidates Forum.

The second Democratic primary debate will be hosted by CNN in Detroit on July 30 and 31. The debate will be moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper. Candidates are able to qualify for the second round of debates in one of two ways, according to the Democratic National Committee.

They must register one percent or more in three polls publicly released between January 1 and 14 days before the debate or by showing that the campaign has received donations from at least 65,000 unique donors and a minimum of 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. If more than 20 candidates qualify, the top 20 will be chosen through a method that “gives primacy to candidates meeting both thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors.”

It will be slightly harder for candidates to qualify for the third round of debates in September, according to The Hill. Democratic candidates will need to register two percent or more in four qualifying polls and receive donations from 130,000 unique donors.


About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.