The Democratic National Committee on Tuesday unveiled the plans for their first two 2020 presidential debates and the means by which candidates in a potentially massive field will qualify for them.
The first debate of the primary cycle will take place in June with NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo hosting. The second will be in July, hosted by CNN.
Both debates, the DNC said, will have the option of occurring on consecutive nights in order to allow for as many as 20 candidates to participate. The lineups for each debate will also be determined at random.
In order to qualify for the debates, Democratic candidates must either register 1 percent or higher in three polls—either national polls or those from the first four voting states. Candidates can also earn entry by demonstrating that their campaign has received donations from at least 65,000 unique donors with a minimum of 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. The candidates will be required to provide evidence of their fundraising with either ActBlue or NGP VAN.
If more than 20 candidates qualify for a debate, the top 20 will be selected with preference for those who meet both thresholds, “followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors,” the DNC said.
The DNC previously announced that it would hold 12 primary debates split between 2019 and 2020. Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada—the first four voting states—will not be permitted to host the debates until 2020.