The Democratic presidential candidates are preparing for their first debate of the 2020 cycle — at least, most of them are. Because of the Democratic National Committee's qualification rules, there are a number of candidates who didn't make the Democratic debate and won't be on the stage in Miami next week.
Due to the sheer number of candidates — 24 as of this writing — the DNC decided to hold two nights of debate, each featuring 10 candidates. The DNC also decided that candidates who don't meet a minimum threshold of polling or donor support won't be allowed to take the stage, and on Thursday, it announced who made the cut — and, by extension, who didn't.
Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Amy Klobuchar will all be at the debate. So will Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Tim Ryan, John Delaney, and Eric Swalwell all made the cut, and so did former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
This means that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, and Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam didn't make the cut, and won't be on stage during the debate.
In order to qualify for the first round of debates, candidates were required to have polling support of at least one percent in three national or early state polls or, alternatively, donations from at least 65,000 different people, including at least 200 donors from 20 different states.
According to FiveThirtyEither, most of the donors hit both of the thresholds, but not all of them: Bennett, de Blasio, Delaney, Hickenlooper, Ryan, and Swalwell only qualified by reaching the polling minimum, FiveThirtyEight reports.
Although the slate of debate candidates has been solidified, it isn't yet clear who will be taking the stage on which night. According to Politico, the DNC will take candidates with a polling average of at least two percent, and allocate them evenly across the two nights of debate. The DNC will then do the same thing with the candidates who have less than two percent in the polls; the idea, according to Politico, is to ensure that both nights have a mix of top-tier and lower-tier candidates.
In an email to supporters Thursday, Moulton acknowledged that he won't be at the first debate, but said that "this race is a marathon, not a sprint," and that he's "not losing any sleep over it." Gravel's campaign said on Twitter that despite missing the first debate, he's on track to qualify for second round of debates in July, which will use the same eligibility requirements.
The first two debates will be held on June 26 and 27 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. They'll be co-hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo, with Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart moderating.