Democratic debates: Everything you need to know about the first debates of 2020 election season

/ CBS News

The first two debates of the 2020 election season take place Wednesday and Thursday. Twenty Democratic candidates will take questions in downtown Miami. Here's everything you need to know.

When is the first debate

The first debates take place Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27. They will be broken up with 10 candidates per night.

What channel is the debate on

The first two debates will be broadcast on NBC and its other networks Telemundo and MSNBC.

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Where is the debate being held

The first two debates will take place in downtown Miami, Florida at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

How do I stream the debate for free

NBCNews.com, NBC News apps, Telemundo, NBC News' Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

CBSN will carry coverage and analysis all-night long. CBS News correspondents Ed O'Keefe and Caitlin Huey Burns will have coverage throughout the day. A special edition of Red and Blue will air at 5 p.m. ET and special pre-debate show at 8 p.m. CBSN will also provide real-time analysis and fact-checking live while the debate unfolds.

What time does the debate start

Both Wednesday and Thursday, the debates start at 9 p.m. and are scheduled to run until 11 p.m. ET.

Who is in the debate

To qualify for the first debate, candidates had to fulfill one of two criteria: either get 65,000 donors to their campaigns, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or obtain at least 1% in three polls recognized as legitimate by the committee. Fourteen of the candidates met both of the criteria to qualify for the debates.

If more than 20 candidates had qualified for the debate, the DNC said it would choose participants with "a methodology that gives primacy to candidates meeting both thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors."

June 26 debate lineup

June 27 debate lineup

Who isn't in the debate

Four candidates failed to qualify for the debates.

What are the debate rules

According to NBC, candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. There will be no opening statements, but the contenders will have a chance to deliver closing remarks at the close of the debate.

How do candidates qualify for the debate

To qualify for the first debate in Miami, which will play out over two nights, candidates had to fulfill one of two criteria: either get 65,000 donors to their campaigns, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or obtain at least 1% in three polls recognized as legitimate by the committee. According to NBC News, which is hosting the debate, candidates' podium placements will be "based on polling."

Who is moderating the debate?

NBC announced five anchors will be moderating the debates. Lester Holt will moderate both hours. He will be joined by Savannah Guthrie ("Today") and Jose Diaz-Balart ("Noticias Telemundo") for the first hour. Rachel Maddow ("The Rachel Maddow Show") and Chuck Todd ("Meet the Press") will join him for the second hour. This format will be the same for both debates.

When is the next debate

The second debate will be held on July 30th and 31st in Detroit, Michigan, and will be broadcast live on CNN. The same criteria for qualifying will be used for these second set of debates in July.

Will President Trump watch the debates

The President leaves Wednesday afternoon to attend the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. In a morning interview, Mr. Trump told Fox Business that he would begrudgingly watch the first 2020 Democratic debate during his flight to Japan. He predicted that while it will be "very boring" to watch, "I have to watch it, it's a part of my life now."

"Do I want to watch these people? It's a very unexciting group of people," Mr. Trump said of the presidential contenders.

First published on June 26, 2019 / 2:31 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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