Top 10 candidates take the stage for the Democratic Debate in Houston

The high-stakes political debate between the leading Democratic candidates will take place in Texas on Sept. 12, 2019 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time
2:57 | 09/12/19

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Transcript for Top 10 candidates take the stage for the Democratic Debate in Houston
Texas, and true to form, this is a big night for Democrats who want to beat president trump. You can see the stage is set behind me, just a short time from now, the top ten democratic presidential candidates, for the first time on one stage, on one night, the ABC news debate. We are here at Texas southern university, the crowd is building tonight. It will be a packed house this evening. Ten places there for the candidates and all day long here, we have watched the candidates come in for their walk-through. Front-runner Joe Biden, who will be center stage, checking out the podium and the stage where he'll be standing. Right next to him, for the first time, Elizabeth Warren tonight, who has been rising in the polls. On the other side, beknee Sanders. All three senders at the top of the pack. Tonight, a lot of pressure on these candidates to break through, after labor day, millions back to school, back to work and back in the game with the race for 2020 now under way. ABC's Mary Bruce tonight, right here in the hall. Reporter: With just hours to go, former vice president Joe Biden taking in the debate stage. The stakes so high. No detail too small. Biden's team even testing out neckties. His pre-debate message, a new campaign video tying himself to former president Obama. I think we should step back and say something we don't often say enough as a party or as a nation. Barack Obama is an extraordinary man. Reporter: Tonight, for the first time, Biden is sharing the debate stage with senator Elizabeth Warren. Hello, Austin! Reporter: She's been rising in the polls, and now voters will be able to compare her with Biden side-by-side. I'm someone who will fight for your family. I'm not here to fight for the rich and the powerful. I'm here to fight for the rest of America. Reporter: On Biden's other side, senator Bernie Sanders. Putting the ideological divide in the democratic party front and center. Flanking them, candidates looking for a much needed boost. You can see Pete buttigieg on the stage right now. These candidates on the wings are looking to seize the spotlight here tonight, hoping to jumpstart their campaigns. In the same situation, former H.U.D. Secretary Julian Castro and senators canal la Harris and Cory booker. First of all, I'm the only bald person on that stage. Reporter: The candidates descending on Houston. Buttigieg and senator Amy klobuchar sharing the same the mayor tweeting, "Very funny, united." And they've been blowing off some steam. Former congressman Beto O'rourke rocking out on the drums. And businessman Andrew yang shooting hoops, a long-shot candidate looking for a slam dunk tonight. And you can see Mary Bruce live down on the stage right there behind me. You know you talked to a lot of candidates, but so many people tonight are going to be focused on Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren right next to him. We've seen her rising in the polls. There is a lot at stake tonight. Reporter: David, for the first time here, they before side-by-side. Joe Biden is arguing that he can build upon president Obama's legacy, while Elizabeth Warren is calling for fundthal change to the way Washington works. Tonight, that divide will be front and center. Stage? We can't wait. Mary Bruce leading us off, thank

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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