Democrats reveal 20 candidates who qualify for first presidential debate


Democrats on Thursday named the 20 candidates who qualified to participate in the first debate for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, and all of the best-known White House hopefuls made the cut.

The debate, to be televised live by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, will take place in Miami on June 26 and 27, with 10 candidates on stage each night. On Friday, the media sponsors will announce the candidate lineups for each night.

Participants include former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.


Also in the debate are Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Eric Swalwell of California, and Tim Ryan of Ohio; Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; former housing secretary Julián Castro; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Reps. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and John Delaney of Maryland; author Marianne Williamson; and businessman Andrew Yang.

Three candidates — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Fla., — were excluded from the debate.

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“While it’s not my job to write the rules, the [Democratic National Committee] should find a way to avoid excluding people from the conversation just because we got a later entry into the race than others,” Bullock, who joined the race May 14, wrote Wednesday in an essay in Fortune.

To qualify for the opening debate, a candidate needed to meet one of two criteria.

The first was to register at least 1% of support in three polls approved by the Democratic National Committee in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada or nationwide.


The second was to report contributions from at least 65,000 unique donors, including a minimum of 200 in each of 20 states.

Bullock, Moulton and Messam fell short on both tests.

The same rules apply for the second two-night debate, which will be televised live on CNN from Detroit on July 30 and 31.

The standard to qualify for the third debate in September will be tougher. Candidates must reach 2% in four approved polls and collect contributions from 130,000 donors, including at least 400 in each of 20 states.