Democratic National Committee Unveils Lineup for First Campaign 2020 Debate

June 14, 2019 by Dan McCue
The first Democratic presidential debates will be held June 26 and 27 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

WASHINGTON – The Democratic National Committee Thursday evening announced the 20 presidential candidates who will take part in the party’s first debate later this month.

The debate will take place over two days — June 26 and June 27 — in Miami, Fla., and will air each night from 9 to 11 p.m. on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the race’s current front-runner, was among the candidates who easily made the cut.

Others qualifying without difficulty were Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Making up the rest of the debate field are South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Representative Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Washington Governor Jay Inslee, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Representative Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., author Marianne Williamson, former tech executive Andrew Yang, Representative Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colo., former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and former Representative John Delaney, D-Md.

Four candidates will be left off the prime-time stage. These are Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Representative Seth Moulton, D-Mass., former Senator Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam.

The debate, which is being moderated by Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow, and José Díaz-Balart, will be the first time that so many 2020 contenders will share the stage at the same time.

Each night of the debate will feature 10 candidates, the lineups having been in a lottery at NBC headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York Friday morning.

The lineup for night one is:

  • Senator Cory Booker;
  • Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro;
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio;
  • Former Maryland Representative John Delaney;
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard;
  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee;
  • Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar;
  • Former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke;
  • Ohio Representative Tim Ryan; and
  • Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The lineup for night two is:

  • Colorado Senator Michael Bennet;
  • Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.;
  • South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg;
  • New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand;
  • California Senator Kamala Harris;
  • Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper;
  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders;
  • California Representative Eric Swalwell;
  • Self-help author Marianne Williamson; and
  • Former tech executive Andrew Yang.

To qualify for the June debate, presidential hopefuls had to either collect contributions from at least 65,000 unique donors, including 200 in 20 different states, or notch at least 1 percent support in three polls.

Out of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first debate, 14 met both thresholds, while six met only the polling requirement.

The four candidates left on the sidelines for the first debate still have a chance to qualify for the second debate, scheduled for July, under the same criteria.

As for the moderators of the first debate, NBC has announced that Lester Holt will appear in both hours of the debate each night including moderating the first hour with Savannah Guthrie and Telemundo’s Jose Díaz-Balart.

He will be joined by Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow in the second hour.

Holt moderated the first 2016 general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, while Todd teamed up with Maddow for a 2016 Democratic debate between Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Todd joined Díaz-Balart for a 2016 forum between the two Democratic contenders.

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