DemDaily: The Final Cut

July 18, 2019

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced the top 20 contenders to qualify for the second Democratic primary debate, to be held in Detroit, Michigan July 30th and 31st.

The first debate, which was held in Miami, Florida June 26th and 27th, broke records for the most-watched Democratic primary debate in history, with 18.1 million people tuning in the second night by television, and another 9 million via livestream online.

This is the second of an anticipated 12 official party debates over the course of the 2020 presidential cycle.

Second Debate Participants
In Order of Qualification
Former Vice President Joe Biden (DE)*
Senator Bernie Sanders (VT)*
Senator Kamala Harris (CA)*
Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA)*
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (IN)*
Former Congressman Beto O'Rourke (TX)*
Senator Cory Booker (NJ)*
Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang (NY)*
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (TX)*
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI) *
Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN)*
Author Marianne Williamson (CA)*
Governor Jay Inslee (WA)*
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)*
Former Congressman John Delaney (MD)
Former Governor John Hickenlooper (CO)
Congressman Tim Ryan (OH)
Senator Michael Bennet (CO)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (NY)
Governor Steve Bullock (MT)
*Met polling & fundraising thresholds

How It Works

The first and second debates fall under the DNC's new debate requirements, announced in February, of meeting a polling threshold of 1% or a fundraising requirement of at least 65,000 individual donors.

For the third and fourth debates in the Fall, however, contenders must meet both the new polling requirements and the grassroots fundraising qualifications, which will double.

With the release this week of second quarter fundraising totals, the division between what is now the top tier of five candidates, and the remainder of the field, has become more distinct.

The qualifications become stricter in the Fall, which is expected to be an important turning point for narrowing the field.

Hence Detroit is a final opportunity for those nipping at the heals of major contenders Biden, Sanders, Harris, Warren and Buttigieg, to boost their numbers.

To accommodate the large field, the debates will occur over two consecutive nights in prime time, and capped at 20 candidates. In deciding the final 20 debate participants, candidates crossing both the polling and fundraising thresholds rank over candidates who only crossed one. The remaining debaters qualify based on polling performance.


DateTuesday, July 30th and Wednesday, July 31st. Time: TBD
LocationThe Fox Theatre, Detroit, Michigan
CandidatesOrder for each night TBD
NetworksCNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español
Live StreamingCNN's website, mobile apps and connected TVs via CNNgo. DNC Website
Qualifications1) Meet a 1% polling threshold in at least three separate national or early primary state polls, or 2) Receive donations from 65,000 individual donors and a minimum of 200 unique donors in at least 20 states

Polls must be among approved national or early state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada. Any qualifying poll must include a full list of presidential candidates for respondents.

  Third Debate: September 12th & 13th Presidential Primary Debate
DateThursday, September 12th and Friday, September 13th
LocationHouston, Texas
NetworksABC News, in partnership with Univision
Live StreamingABC News Live, ABCNews website and apps, as well as Hulu Live, The Roku Channel, and Facebook Watch. DNC Website
1) Meet a 2% polling threshold in at least four separate national or early primary state polls, and 2) Receive donations from 130,000 individual donors and a minimum of 400 unique donors in at least 20 states

The October, November and December 2019 debates are yet to be scheduled.

DemList will keep you informed.

Connecting you to The Party
Connecting you to Each Other

Kimberly Scott

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