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Here’s Your Guide To The First 2020 Democratic Debate Tonight

Candidates running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will face each other on the same stage for the first time tonight. Here are the details.


Candidates running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will face each other for the first time tonight on the same stage, as part of a two-night event to include 20 of the 26 major candidates in the prime-time debates.

The debates will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. They will air at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Time each night on June 26 and June 27. Viewers can also stream the debates for free online at,, and the NBC News Mobile App.

To qualify for the debates, candidates had to meet criteria laid out by the Democratic National Committee related to fundraising and polling. Candidates had to either show that 65,000 people have donated to their campaigns with at least 200 donors in each state across 20 states, or receive at least 1 percent or more support in three polls that the DNC considered.

To determine which candidates went on which night, a random drawing was conducted at the NBC News headquarters at Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Candidates were first divided into two groups of high-polling candidates versus low-polling candidates, then randomly drawn to establish two groups of 10 candidates. The selection process enabled the DNC to construct a debate slate for each night that features a mix of high-profile candidates and lesser-known candidates.

Here’s the lineup for each night of the debate in order from which candidates will appear, from left to right on the debate stage:

June 26

  • Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City
  • Tim Ryan, U.S. representative from Ohio
  • Julian Castro, former U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Cory Booker, U.S. senator from New Jersey
  • Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts
  • Beto O’Rourke, former U.S. Representative from Texas
  • Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from Minnesota
  • Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. representative from Hawaii
  • Jay Inslee, governor of Washington State
  • John Delaney, former U.S. representative from Maryland

June 27

  • Marianne Williamson, author
  • John Hickenlooper, former governor of Colorado
  • Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
  • Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana
  • Joe Biden, former vice president
  • Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator from Vermont
  • Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California
  • Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New York
  • Michael Bennet, U.S. senator from Colorado
  • Eric Swalwell, U.S. representative from California

Major candidates excluded from these first debates include Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass), former senator Mike Gravel (D-AK), former U.S. representative Joe Sestak (D-Penn), and Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida.

Moderating this week’s debates are a panel of hosts from the three networks putting on the event, including Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow, and Jose Diaz-Balart. Both nights of the debate will share the same format with the same moderators.