The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced the plans for their first two presidential debates. Both debates will take place this summer and have enough stage space to accommodate up to 20 candidates.
The first debate will take place in June and will be aired on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. The second debate will take place in July and will be aired on CNN, the Associated Press reported.
In order to qualify for the debates a candidate must reach at least one percent of support in three national or early primary state polls. If they don't qualify through the polls they can qualify by having 65,000 individuals donors with at least 200 unique donors in at least 20 states.
The reason the Democrats chose to use donation as a metric is because poll numbers amongst candidates will be low due to a crowded field. It's not deemed a decent measurement tool. But donations are.
The stage positions will be drawn at random to keep perceived "top tier candidates" from appearing in the middle with "second tier candidates" appearing on the outside, like what the Republicans did during the 2016 election.
“I am committed to running an open and transparent primary process,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement. “To that end, we’ve spent months working with media partners to provide this unprecedented opportunity for candidates and voters to get to know each other.”
Debates are scheduled for June, July, September, October, November and December. No debate will take place in August. Another six debates will be scheduled for spring of 2020 if the party is still considering who to nominate to challenge President Donald Trump in the general election.