2020 Democratic Primary Debates: What To Know

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Bernie Sanders 2020 Democratic Primary Debates
Image Source: Nick Solari/Wikimedia Commons



The United States presidential election has already begun, with dozens of figures from both the left and right throwing their hats into the race. Until now, much of this was simply the politicians, and other high-profile figures, throwing up their hands and saying they want the U.S.’s top job. Now, we’re starting to get into the nuts and bolts of policies, with the first of several 2020 Democratic Primary debates beginning on Wednesday, June 26.

The first of these debates takes place in Iowa and is spread across two days; this is in large part because of the various figures who are taking part. After months of laying out their policies, Democratic candidates finally have a chance to stand out from the crowded field. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 Democratic Primary debates before they begin.

The Dirty Details

The first of the events will be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, with the debates themselves being between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. ET. Similar to previous events, there will be five moderators, including:

  • Today anchor Savannah Guthrie;
  • NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt;
  • Meet the Press host Chuck Todd;
  • MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, and;
  • Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart.

In terms of rules, each candidate will have 60 seconds to answer questions, and a further 30 seconds for follow-ups, according to NBC News. Both nights of the debate will be split into five sections, with these being separated by four commercial breaks; it’s expected that each of these sections will be focused on specific topics.

Where To Watch The 2020 Democratic Primary Debates

The debates will be streamed live by several networks, most notably NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. According to reports, each of these networks will also be streaming across their various social media outlets and websites. It should be noted, however, that Telemundo isn’t set to stream the event online.

With that inmind, you should be able to turn to either NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com to watch the debates online. NBC is also streaming on its Facebook, Youtube and Twitter accounts; you should also be able to expect relevant updates on many of these accounts.

Who Is & Isn’t In The First Debates

As mentioned above, there are two days of the debates, Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27. This is driven by the fact that there are close to two dozen figures running in the Democratic primary. However, that doesn’t mean that all of those running in the primary will be at the 2020 Democratic Primary debates this week; in fact, there are several who didn’t initially qualify for them.

There are a few notable figures who aren’t taking part, for various reasons. These include: Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Rep. Seth Moulton, former Alaska senator Mike Gravel and Mayor Wayne Messam. This is because they failed to meet certain criteria for the debates, which can be quite extensive, such as at least one percent support in three independent state and national polls, and/or 65,000 unique donations. Former congressman Joe Sestak also didn’t qualify for the debates.

Those that did qualify were broken into two groups, with each receiving their own night of debates. The first of these, Wednesday, will see:

  • Elizabeth Warren;
  • Beto O’Rourke;
  • Cory Booker;
  • Amy Klobuchar;
  • John Delaney;
  • Tulsi Gabbard;
  • Julian Castro;
  • Tim Ryan;
  • Bill de Blasio, and;
  • Jay Inslee.

The second night of debates will see the remaining line-up debate, which includes potential frontrunners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. The next debates will be held on July 30 and 31.