Currently 24 candidates are vying for the position of Democratic nominee to run against Republican President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 presidential elections, and only 20 of those Democrats have been selected for the first set of debates on live television.
The debates are divided into two groups, with one group airing one night, and the other on the next day.
The first night of debate will be on June 26, and will include the following:
– Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
– New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
– Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
– Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
– Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro
– New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
– Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
– Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
– Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
– Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
The second night of debate will be on June 27, and will include the following:
– California Sen. Kamala Harris
– South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
– New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
– Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
– Author and activist Marianne Williamson
– Entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Yang
– California Rep. Eric Swalwell
– Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
– Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
– Former Vice President Joe Biden
NBC announced the event dates, names, and location on Friday afternoon, June 14.
To decide the matchups, NBC reported that candidates’ names were drawn manually at NBC News headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. One representative from each qualifying campaign was invited to attend the drawing, as well as officials from the Democratic National Committee.
The campaign reps saw the paper slip with their candidate’s name on it before it was folded and placed inside a box, fair and square.
Where candidates will stand on the stage has not yet been determined.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez told MSNBC, before the draw, that he wanted the committee to avoid grouping lesser-known candidates together on one night and high-profile candidates on the other.
“The purpose of that is to be consistent with our principle of trying to be fair to everybody but also, it gets to the point of your question, so that we have maximum eyeballs both nights,” Perez told NBC.
The purpose of the debate is to offer an opportunity for presidential hopefuls to show undecided voters a bit of their personality and give their stance on the most important issues of the time.
Candidate debates are not constitutionally mandatory but have been a part of elections tradition since the early 80s.