Steve Bullock

Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Detroit was widely expected to pit the two leading progressives in the field against each other. Instead, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts had each other's backs in fending off the other eight aspirants onstage.

They gave as good as they got, and emerged at least as strong as either was going in. That was particularly good news for Sanders, who had been perceived as ceding ground to Warren in recent months.

Ideological lines were drawn early and often during Tuesday night's presidential primary debate between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party.

Angela Hsieh/NPR

It's Night 1 of two of the July Democratic debates, airing on CNN from 8 to 10 p.m. ET. The first set of 10 candidates is making their case as to why they should be the next president of the United States.

The Democratic presidential candidates take the stage for the second round of debates Tuesday and Wednesday in Detroit. A lot is on the line for the candidates, who have been engaged in back-and-forths over race and health care coming into this round of debates.

On Tuesday, progressives Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren face off for the first time in this campaign. And several other candidates will be scrambling for a breakout night to get back on voters' minds.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock entered the Democratic primary in May, months after many of his competitors. He has an excuse.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced on Tuesday that he's running for president, appealing to primary voters as a Democrat elected twice in a largely Republican state and joining a primary field of nearly two dozen candidates.

Bullock is focusing his campaign message on campaign finance, touting Montana's election laws that he has championed as attorney general and governor, and promising to "take our democracy back."

The holiday dinner conversations are going to be intense in several high-profile Democratic households in the coming weeks, as potential candidates near decisions on whether to run for president in 2020.

Even as their staffs and political advisers have already begun scouting out office space, interviewing potential aides, and plotting out strategy for the 2020 presidential election, most haven't completely made up their minds about entering what's expected to be one of the most crowded primary contests in history.