Democratic Presidential Debate tonight at Texas Southern University

HOUSTON — The ten leading democratic presidential candidates will take the stage for their third debate—and it’s all happening right here in Houston! Texas Southern University is hosting the debate Thursday and it’s set to kickoff ‪at 7 p.m.

Lots of eyes will be on Texas Southern, which is exciting for our city and for the students here. This is also the first time all of the qualifying candidates will share the same stage.

Here's a quick breakdown of the participating candidates: Amy Klobuchar, Corey Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro.

As for how these candidates are doing here in Texas, in a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, Biden is still leading in the state, but Warren is narrowing the gap.

The poll also shows Texas voters are divided when it comes to gun control issues. Among Texas registered voters, 53% support stricter gun laws and 40% oppose them.

We know this is going to be a big topic at Thursday night’s debate after the two recent mass shootings in Texas.

Other questions will likely focus on healthcare and border security, especially as these candidates make a case for the Latinx vote and young voters like the ones here on TSU’s campus.

Several students we spoke to— even ones that don’t have tickets to go inside the debate— say they’ll be watching and they’re proud to have such a big event at their school.

“It’s happening here at Texas Southern, you know an HBCU that kind of no one really talks about," TSU junior Deviion Marshal said. "They talk about U of H a lot, but it’s here at Texas Southern, that brings a light to the Heart of Houston and that’s really a wonderful thing.”

So no matter who comes out on top in this debate, it’s a great opportunity for these students and for the city of Houston.

There’s a lot of conversation happening now about Texas becoming a battleground state in this election. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are hosting their own “Vamos to Victory” event Thursday afternoon in Houston. No doubt a competitive race in a competitive state.

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