Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have clashed over who is funding their presidential campaigns.
Ahead of the debate, a CNN poll placed Mr Biden at the front of the pack on 26 points, followed by Mr Sanders on 20, Ms Warren on 16, Mr Buttigieg on 8, and latecomer Michael Bloomberg on 5.
In exchanges between the two candidates who have challenged each other for frontrunner status and who represent different ideological strands of the party, Ms Warren laid into Mr Buttigieg for holding closed-door fund-raising events where he spent time “with millionaires or billionaires”.
The back-and-forth between the two marked one of the few tense moments of the night. That may have reflected the fact that the debate in Los Angeles at the debate at Loyola Marymount University, the sixth the party has held as it seeks to select a presidential candidate, was held just a day after Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives.
The issue of impeachment was quickly covered with all seven candidates – also on stage were Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobahcar, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer – saying they applauded the move.
Yet Mr Yang, the only candidate of colour participating in the debate – indeed, there was more diversity among the journalistic questioners than the candidates – warned that Democrats may be overthinking that issue, compared to most Americans.
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