Democratic Primary Debate Lineups Released, Biden & Sanders To Square Off On Second Night
As the 2020 primaries creep ever closer and the pool of presidential candidates seems to have reached capacity, NBC has announced the format of the first Democratic presidential debate. Twenty candidates will be divided between two nights. The first, on June 26, will feature Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, and Elizabeth Warren, whom many expect to dominate the debate. The following night will host Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang, and Kamala Harris.
According to the DNC, the candidates were sorted randomly, but efforts were made to ensure that the most popular candidates would not all be featured on a single night. Candidates were divided into two groups, those polling 2% or more and those polling with less, and an even proportion was assigned to each night. In 2016 the Republican debates received criticism when they separated the debate participants by popularity.
Three candidates did not qualify for placement in the debates, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam, and Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton. In order to qualify, candidates must have at least 65,000 donors across 20 states or garner 1% support in three national polls.
The debate will be hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami.