NBC News on Friday announced the lineups for the first two Democratic debates, scheduled to take place on June 26 and 27 in Miami.
The first debate is set to feature Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) and Tim Ryan (Ohio), former Reps. John Delaney (Md.) and Beto O’Rourke (Texas), former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The second debate is expected to feature former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, author Marianne Williamson and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam and did not qualify for the debates.
The names of the candidates who made the cut were drawn manually at NBC News’ New York headquarters, with one representative from each of the qualifying campaigns present for the drawing beside Democratic National Committee officials, the network said Friday.
The candidates’ names were divided into two groups based on who had polled at or above 2% on average up through midnight on Wednesday and who had polled below 2%. The drawing then pulled randomly from each group to create two separate groupings of 10 candidates, NBC said.
Tom Perez, the DNC chairman, said the process aimed to avoid having one debate with lesser-known candidates and the other with high-profile candidates.
“The purpose of that is to be consistent with our principle of trying to be fair to everybody, but also, it gets to the point of your question, so that we have maximum eyeballs both nights,” Perez said in an interview with MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson on Friday.
The Democratic 2020 field is one of the largest and most diverse in recent history, with 24 candidates in the running. In February, the DNC announced qualifications candidates would have to meet to participate in the first primary debates, including reaching 1% support in at least three separate, approved polls or raising money from at least 65,000 unique donors.
To qualify for the third Democratic debate, scheduled for mid-September, the DNC said in May candidates will need to raise money from at least 130,000 unique donors from 20 states and reach at least 2% support in four approved state or national polls.