A Complete Guide to 2020 Democratic Primary Debates

Ahead of the first Democratic debates of the 2020 presidential election on Wednesday and Thursday nights, here's a primer with what you should know before the anticipated fireworks.

When and How to Watch the 2020 Democratic Presidential Debates

The Democratic National Committee has approved up to 12 debates. Six debates are scheduled this year and six more set for 2020.

The first debate, sponsored by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo, will take place on June 26 and 27 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Florida. The field will be split into two with 10 candidates debating each night.

NBC announced the candidates would have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds for follow-ups. The candidates will be allowed closing statements but no openers.

The debate will air live across NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo and also stream online free on this website (including at the top of this page),,, the NBC News mobile app and OTT apps, in addition to Telemundos digital platforms.

CNN will host the second debate in Detroit on July 30 and 31.

The 20 Democrats Who Qualified for the First Presidential Primary Debates in Miami Are

NBC News announced on June 14 the lineups of Democratic presidential candidates who are appearing on stage at the first debates in Miami.

The first group of 10 appearing on Wednesday, June 26: Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Rep. Beto ORourke of Texas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Clockwise, from top left: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Tim Ryan, Gov. Jay Insee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Rep. John Delaney, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Cory Booker, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will appear in the first presidential debate between Democratic candidates, being held on June 26, 2019, in Miami.
Photo credit: Getty Images

The second group of 10 appearing on Thursday, June 27 are: Sen. Kamala Harris of California, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, author Marianne Williamson, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

Top, from left: Sen. Kamala Harris, former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; bottom, from left: Sen Michael Bennet, Marianne Williamson, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Andrew Yang and Gov. John Hickenlooper, will debate on June 27.
Photo credit: Getty Images

Three candidates who failed to make the cut for either night of the debate were Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Massachusetts congressman Seth Moulton, and Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam.

Here is more information about all the candidates and how they are trying to stand out.

Whos Running for President in 2020?

The race for the 2020 presidential election is underway, and the field of Democratic candidates is packed. Those who have announced presidential bids include a vice president, senators, House members and three mayors. As for the GOP, a single Republican has announced his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the party nomination: former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who ran for vice president (and lost) in 2016 on the Libertarian party ticket.

Click the photos to learn more

Updated May 14, 2019
Credit: Jo Bruni, Emma Barnett, Asher Klein, Dan Macht, Kelly Zegers / NBC; Photos: Getty Images

'My Big Idea' with 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates O'Rourke, Warren and Others'My Big Idea' with 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates O'Rourke, Warren and Others

'My Big Idea' with 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Buttigieg, Sanders and Others'My Big Idea' with 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Buttigieg, Sanders and Others

How Candidates Qualify for the First Two Democratic Presidential Primary Debates

In February, the DNC published specific debate guidelines spelling out what candidates have to do to participate.

Democratic candidates may qualify for the first and second debate by meeting one of the two following sets of criteria:

Criteria 1- Polling Method: Participants must register 1% or more support in three polls (which may be national polls, or polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada) publicly released between Jan. 1, 2019, and 14 days prior to the date of the debate. Qualifying polls will be limited to those sponsored by one or more of the following organizations/institutions: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Las Vegas Review Journal, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, NatioRead More – Source