Culture

The 2020 presidential race is in full swing, and there’s a mind-boggling (and still growing) number of Democratic primary candidates vying for the party’s official spot. Lucky for voters, the first debates are also coming up soon. Here, everything you need to know.

When is the first debate?

The first Democratic primary debates will take place on June 26 and June 27 in Miami, Florida, with lineups for each night chosen at random. Both will begin at 9 P.M. EST and will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center. NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo will be hosting those debates, and NBC News has said that details about the moderators will be announced at a later date.

NBC News also reported that there will be a total of 12 debates during the Democratic primary season, and the June debate will be the first of six scheduled for 2019. The second debates of the year will be hosted by CNN in Detroit on July 30 and 31.

How can I watch it?

According to NBC, the June debates will be streaming online for free on NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, the NBC News app, and Telemundo’s digital platforms.

Is everyone debating?

Not necessarily. The Democratic National Committee has announced that candidates have two paths to qualifying for the debate:

  1. “Register 1% or more support in three polls (which may be national polls, or polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada) publicly released between January 1, 2019, and 14 days prior to the date of the Organization Debate.” (Read more about the specific polling restrictions, here.)
  2. “Candidates may qualify for the debate by demonstrating that the campaign has received donations from at least (1) 65,000 unique donors; and (2) a minimum of 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states.”

    However, if more than 20 candidates qualify, the top 20 will be selected with a method that “gives primacy to candidates meeting both thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors.”

    So, who has qualified so far?

    According to CNN, 18 candidates have qualified based on the DNC’s standards: Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Tim Ryan, Eric Swalwell, and Marianne Williamson.

    But, following the DNC’s criteria, more candidates could end up qualifying in time for the debates.

    ELLE.com will continue to update this post.

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