The opening presidential debates for the Democrats’ 2020 nomination will begin next June and July with two prime-time televised back-to-back debate nights to accommodate a field that will be capped at the 20 most popular candidates, the party announced on Thursday.
The first debate will be televised on NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo, while CNN will host the second debate, the party’s announcement said. Qualifying candidates will be ranked according to mainstream media polls and grassroots donor support.
“Both debates will have the option of occurring over consecutive nights in prime time to make room for as many as 20 candidates, with the lineups for each night determined at random,” the DNC’s announcement said. “This approach will provide each candidate with a fair opportunity to make his or her case to a large, national audience.”
To qualify, a presidential candidate must show at least one percent support in three polls released between New Year’s Day 2019 and two weeks before the forum.…