NBC News/MSNBC and CNN Hosting First Two Primary Debates for Democrats


The Democratic National Committee announced media partnership plans for the June and July debates.

The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced media partnership plans for the first two debates in the 2020 presidential primary cycle.

MSNBC, NBC News and Telemundo will host the first debate in June, and CNN has been selected to host the second debate in July.

Both debates will likely be held on back-to-back nights in primetime "to make room for as many as twenty candidates, with the lineups for each night determined at random," the organization said. "This approach will provide each candidate with a fair opportunity to make his or her case to a large, national audience."

Back on Dec. 20, the DNC announced plans for a slate of 12 debates, starting in June and July. After a break in August, one debate will be held per month for the rest of the year.

In the last few weeks and months, the major television networks (and digital platforms) have been pitching the DNC on why they should be able to host the early debates.

The DNC will announce "at a later date" where the June and July events will be held, what time they will be held and who from each network will moderate the debates.

The field of Democratic presidential candidates is large and growing, presenting logistical challenges for the organizations hosting and running the debates. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gilibrand have already entered the race, with more heavy-hitters likely to get in soon.

To qualify for the debates, candidates will have to either register at least 1% of support in three polls or by hitting one of two fundraising thresholds: banking donations from at least 65,000 unique donors or registering a minimum of 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.