Democratic Debate Lineups Have Been Released. Who's Taking The Stage First?

Posted: Jun 14, 2019 2:00 PM

After trimming down the pickings to a measly 20 candidates, the Democratic National Committee has released the lineups for the first round of Democratic debates set to take place in Miami in less than two weeks.   

As reported by NBC News, the first debate will be on June 26th and feature Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Many on Twitter dubbed this the "kiddie table" and questioned why Sen. Elizabeth Warren, by all accounts a top-four candidate, was placed with this group. However, Sen. Warren had nothing but positive things to say on Twitter. 

"I’m looking forward to the first debate of the Democratic presidential primary on Wednesday, June 26 on @NBCNews and having an opportunity to discuss my plans for big, structural change in this country. Let’s dream big, fight hard, and win," she tweeted.

The second night of debates will occur on June 27th. The slate for that night is Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Author Marianne Williamson, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

How were these groups decided? DNC Chairman Tom Perez told NBC that the party wanted to be "consistent with our principle of trying to be fair to everybody" but also, so "that we have maximum eyeballs both nights." 

How did they accomplish that? NBC reports that the "candidates were divided into two groups: those who polled on average at or above 2 percent through midnight on Wednesday, June 12, and those who polled on average below 2 percent through midnight on Wednesday.

Next, a "random draw then took place, to create two separate groupings of ten. NBC News then designated each grouping to a specific debate night."

The debates will air on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m ET both nights, and will be moderated by Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow, and José Diaz-Balart.

What can viewers expect? Well, as Matt said yesterday, "It’ll be a fight between those who are socialist, those who are socialist-lite, and those who are neither…but adhere to authoritarian progressivism. So, it’s a big massive bowl of crazy."