Democratic presidential hopefuls will take the stage on June 26 and June 27 in their first debates of the 2020 race. Find out when to watch the debates, where to tune in, which candidates qualified, and more!
The 2020 presidential election is still about 1.5 years away, but the Democratic candidates are wasting no time in getting the ball rolling. On Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27, twenty of the Democrats who have announced they’re running for president will take part in the first Democratic debates, held in Miami, Florida. The debates will air 9:00pm ET to 11:00pm ET both nights, and will air on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. CNN will air a post-debate recap special. Desperate to avoid the “kid’s table” debate stage that befell the Republican party in the 2016 primaries, the Democrats were split between those polling at 2% or above, and those polling below 2%. The candidates were split evenly between the two nights by random drawing.
That said, there are still stars in each debate. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, seen as one to beat, is taking the stage on the first night. Big names like former VP Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are featured on night two. The debates will be moderated by: NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Today show anchor Savannah Guthrie, Telemundo and NBC Nightly News anchor José Diaz-Balart, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, and MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. Here are the full lists of candidates debating by night:
Night One, June 26:
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Night Two, June 27
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
Former VP Joe Biden
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
California Sen. Kamala Harris
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
California Rep. Eric Swalwell
Author Marianne Williamson
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
Three Democrats sadly did not qualify for the first debates: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, and Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida. Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak entered the race too late to qualify for the June debates. Candidates had to qualify for the debates by either getting at least 1% support in three polls, or campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors; that includes 200 donors each from 20 states, according to CNN.
If you think that two hours isn’t enough time for 10 people to debate, you’re right. The candidates will only have one minute to respond to questions, and 30 seconds for follow-ups, per NBC News. Each two-hour debate will be divided into five parts, with four commercial breaks. While the candidates won’t have time to make opening remarks, they will be able to make closing remarks. The aim for these first debates are to focus on policy — and not President Donald Trump. We’ll see how that goes.