Democrats

There are now no more official debates before Democrats begin voting.

Tuesday night's debate was the last before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, and it featured six of the 12 remaining candidates — the top four of whom polls show to be neck and neck.

Democratic primary voters got a substantive debate in which the candidates clashed over what it means to be commander in chief, gender politics and, of course, health care.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday night's debate:

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Eyes are on Iowa as the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates gather there for the seventh debate. The Iowa caucuses take place in less than three weeks. It's the first contest of the primary.

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET

We're up to the seventh debate, and down to six candidates.

The leading Democratic presidential candidates return to the debate stage Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET — this time in Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation caucuses in less than three weeks.

Sen. Cory Booker announced Monday he is dropping out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

In an email to his supporters, Booker cited a number of reasons: most notably, a lack of money to continue.

"Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win — money we don't have, and money that is harder to raise because I won't be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington," Booker wrote.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

Viewers tuning in for the latest Democratic presidential candidates' debate Tuesday night may sense something missing in Des Moines.

A wide open competitive presidential primary should be a moment of opportunity and peak political leverage for ambitious and aspiring politicians in places like Iowa. But one of the most sought-after Democrats in the first-in-the-nation caucus state isn't interested in endorsing a presidential candidate.

As the youngest of a handful of Democrats in statewide office in Iowa, state Auditor Rob Sand, who was elected in 2018, is often mentioned as a potential future U.S. Senate or gubernatorial candidate.

Writer, entrepreneur and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson has ended her presidential campaign, months after garnering viral attention in early debates, earning curiosity but little support from Democratic voters.

"The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don't want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them," Williamson wrote in a letter to supporters. "As of today, therefore, I'm suspending my campaign."

Cory Booker is a politician who sounds like a preacher.

"We may be down in a valley right now," he said during an Iowa campaign stop this week, "but I promise you, if you stand with me, if you caucus with me, if we stand for that spirit, I promise you, we will get to the mountaintop and we'll do it, because together as Americans, we know we will rise."

The Democratic stage will be the smallest yet for next Tuesday's Iowa debate, with just six candidates set to qualify.

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer on Thursday likely became the latest candidate to qualify after two Fox News polls from Nevada and South Carolina showed him in the double digits. Steyer has been spending millions of dollars in early states to boost his chances.

Just days after ending his campaign for president, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is endorsing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The two will hold a rally together Tuesday evening in Brooklyn.

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