dates and locations of the debates have yet to be determined,
Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials said during a
conference call on Thursday.
The DNC has instituted a series of reforms to make it more
responsive to grassroots advocacy after the party, during the
2016 campaign, selected a debate format that critics said
favored the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, over
outsider Bernie Sanders.
Most notably, the DNC has loosened the criteria for qualifying
for the debate stage. To be included in the first two debates, a
candidate must either reach 1 percent in three public opinion
polls or raise money from at least 65,000 individual donors,
with at least 200 of those donors originating from 20 different
The latter criteria will require campaigns to focus on digital
fundraising from small donors, a DNC official said, speaking on
condition of anonymity.
The debates, which will be held on consecutive nights in June
and July, will be capped at 20 candidates total. If more than 20
qualify, candidates who meet both the opinion poll and
fundraising criteria will be given preference.
The lineup for each evening will be chosen at random, the DNC
The first debate will be broadcast by NBC, MSNBC and the
Spanish-language channel Telemundo. The second debate will be
shown on CNN.
Nine Democrats have already declared their candidacy for
president, with perhaps another dozen actively considering a
(Reporting by James Oliphant; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.