First Presidential Debate Stage Is Set


Mike Brest Reporter
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The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday the 20 presidential candidates that will participate in the first presidential debate, which is scheduled for June 26-27.

In order to secure a spot in the debate, candidates must’ve either received donations from at least 65,000 unique donors (with a minimum of 200 donors in more than 19 states) or receive at least 1% support in three DNC-approved polls.

14 of the 20 candidates were able to reach both thresholds.

  • Joe Biden, former vice president to Barack Obama
  • Cory Booker, senator from New Jersey
  • Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana
  • Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary to Barack Obama
  • Tulsi Gabbard, representative from Hawaii
  • Kirsten Gillibrand, senator from New York
  • Kamala Harris, senator from California
  • Jay Inslee, governor of Washington
  • Amy Klobuchar, senator from Minnesota
  • Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, former representative from Texas
  • Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont
  • Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts
  • Marianne Williamson, author
  • Andrew Yang, entrepreneur

2020 Democratic presidential candidates are seen in a combination of 21 file photos (L-R top row): U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Michael Bennet. (L-R middle row): Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, U.S. Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, Seth Moulton, and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro. (L-R bottom row): Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jay Inslee, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Mayor Wayne Messam, and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. REUTERS/Files

Six candidates qualified for the debate via the polls.

  • Michael Bennet, senator from Colorado
  • Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City
  • John Delaney, former representative from Maryland
  • John Hickenlooper, former governor of Colorado
  • Tim Ryan, representative from Ohio
  • Eric Swalwell, representative from California

Four presidential candidates did not qualify for the debate — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, and Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida.

Bullock thought he qualified for the debate after reaching the polling threshold only to have one of those three polls be excluded because it was an open-ended poll, which meant those surveyed wrote in their top candidate. President Donald Trump and former first lady Michelle Obama also received votes in this particular poll.

The debate will be moderated by co-anchor of “TODAY” Savannah Guthrie, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, moderator of “Meet the Press” and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and “Noticias Telemundo” anchor José Diaz-Balart. (RELATED: NBC Faces Flak For Naming Maddow A Moderator For Presidential Debate)

In order for candidates to qualify for the third debate in September, they will need to receive contributions from at least 130,000 donors and hit at least 2% in four polls conducted between June 28 (the day after the conclusion of the first debate) and August 28.

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