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How to watch the first 2020 Democratic presidential debate

How Democrats are prepping for first debate
How candidates are prepping for first round of Democratic debates 01:59

Kicking off the race to 2020, the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 cycle will be held in Miami on Wednesday and Thursday evening. The staggering 20 candidates are expected to be grilled on all things policy, party and news of the day.

First Democratic debate schedule

  • Dates: Wednesday, June 26 & Thursday, June 27
  • Time: 9 to 11 p.m. EST
  • Location: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida

How to watch the first 2020 Democratic debate

How do the Democratic candidates qualify for the debate?

To qualify for the first debate in Miami, which will play out over two nights, candidates had to fulfill one of two criteria: either get 65,000 donors to their campaigns, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or obtain at least 1% in three polls recognized as legitimate by the committee. According to NBC News, which is hosting the debate, candidates' podium placements will be "based on polling."

Because so many of the contenders qualified for the first round of debate, the Democrats will be split into two groups across two consecutive nights totaling four hours. Ten candidates were randomly chosen to appear on each night.

First Democratic Debate rules

According to NBC, candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. There will be no opening statements, but the contenders will have a chance to deliver closing remarks at the close of the debate. 

Here's a look at everything you should know about watching this week's Democratic debate. 

DNC debate candidates for June 26

  • Cory Booker
  • Bill de Blasio
  • Julián Castro
  • John Delaney
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Jay Inslee
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Beto O'Rourke
  • Tim Ryan
  • Elizabeth Warren

DNC debate candidates for June 27

  • Joe Biden
  • Michael Bennet
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Kirsten Gillibrand 
  • Kamala Harris
  • John Hickenlooper
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Eric Swalwell
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Andrew Yang

Candidates who didn't qualify for the first DNC debate

  • Seth Moulton
  • Steve Bullock
  • Mike Gravel
  • Wayne Messam
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