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Your 2020 Democratic presidential debates cheat sheet

The 2020 Democratic debate lineup for July 31

The 2020 Democratic debate lineup for July 31 includes, from left, Bill de Blasio, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Joe Biden. Photo Credit: Comp: AFP/Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio will be among the 20 Democratic presidential candidates who will descend on Detroit later this month for the next round of debates.

The top 20 candidates who met the Democratic National Committee's qualifying standards were split up Thursday during a 40-minute CNN special called "The Draw" — yes, 40 minutes — in which the contenders were selected at random for night one or two. That resulted in a repeat Joe Biden-Kamala Harris matchup, as well as a separate meetup between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Below, how both nights' lineups shook out, and everything else you need to know about the DNC’s presidential primary debates.

10 candidates, 2 nights

Again, 20 candidates are appearing in blocks of 10.

July 30

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana
  • Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
  • Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
  • Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
  • Author Marianne Williamson
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas

July 31:

  • Former V.P. Joe Biden
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  • Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City
  • Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington
  • Former Housing Sec. Julián Castro

How to watch the debate

Both debates will air on CNN and CNN en Español from 8 to 10 p.m. The network's digital platforms, including and its mobile apps for iOS and Android, will livestream the debates without requiring viewers to log in via a cable provider.

Who are the debate moderators?

CNN has tapped Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper to moderate both debates.

What is the debate format?

Each candidate will deliver opening and closing statements, according to CNN. Additionally, candidates will have 1 minute to respond to a question from moderators and 30 seconds will be allotted for responses and rebuttals. CNN will not include questions that require a show-of-hand or one-word answer. If a candidate consistently interrupts the debate flow, he or she could have their time reduced.

How do you qualify for a DNC debate?

In order to make it into the July debates, candidates had to receive at least 1 percent support in three qualifying polls or obtain donations from 65,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 different donors per state in 20 states. The same rules applied to qualify for the first debates in June.

The DNC is tightening its qualifications for the third and fourth debates. For a candidate to make it onto the debate stage in September and October, they will have to meet the threshold for polling and grassroots fundraising, instead of just one of those two criteria. The polling threshold will be set at 2 percent support in four qualifying polls. The fundraising threshold will require at least 130,000 unique donors, with 400 different donors per state in 20 states.

Did any candidates not make it into the second debates?

The following candidates did not make it into the second debates:

  • Rep. Seth Moulton
  • Former Sen. Mike Gravel
  • Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida
  • Entrepreneur Tom Steyer
  • Former Rep. Joe Sestak

How many debates are there?

The Democratic National Committee will hold 12 primary debates during the 2020 presidential election cycle. Six will be held in 2019 and another six will take place in 2020.

When are the other DNC presidential debates?

The DNC has so far announced:

  • The third debate, hosted by ABC News and Univision, will be held on Sept. 12 and 13 in Houston.
  • The fourth debate will be held in October, but further details have not yet been announced by the DNC.


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