NBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates

CNN and a trio of NBC networks will host the first two Democratic presidential primary debates of the 2020 cycle, which will feature a maximum of 20 candidates, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Thursday.

NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo will partner on the first debate in June. CNN will host the second debate, set to take place in July. The exact dates and locations were not yet announced.

Each debate could feature two separate events on back-to-back nights to accommodate a large field of candidates, though only a maximum of 20 candidates will be able to participate in total.

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To qualify for the debates, a candidate will need to either have at least 1 percent support in three qualifying polls, or have received at least $65,000 in individual donations from at least 200 donors in at least 20 states.

If more than 20 candidates meet those two standards, the field for the debates will be chosen using a separate method that takes into account those who meet both qualifications, followed by highest polling averages and number of unique donors.

The specific lineup of candidates for each debate will be chosen at random.

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The DNC had previously announced that the first of 12 primary debates for the coming presidential election would take place in June and July.

The field of prospective candidates has steadily grown in recent weeks. Among those who have declared their candidacy or launched an exploratory committee are Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — CBO officials testify on pros and cons of 'Medicare for All' | Booker vows to form White House office on abortion rights | Measles outbreak spreads with cases now in half the country Lee, Sanders introduce bill to tax Wall Street transactions MORE (D-N.Y.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign T.I., Charlamagne Tha God advocate for opportunity zones on Capitol Hill Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — CBO officials testify on pros and cons of 'Medicare for All' | Booker vows to form White House office on abortion rights | Measles outbreak spreads with cases now in half the country MORE (D-N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC Anita Hill: Female 2020 Democrats 'not being taken seriously' Harris seeks Iowa edge with army of volunteers MORE (D-Minn.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardCNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC Progressive Democrat says Trump victory shed light on divide between Silicon Valley, rural US Anita Hill: Female 2020 Democrats 'not being taken seriously' MORE (D-Hawaii), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyCNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC Harris seeks Iowa edge with army of volunteers Castro to strike with McDonald's employees in North Carolina MORE (D-Md.) and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D).

A number of other candidates are likely to announce their 2020 decision in the coming weeks. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE is expected to jump into the race, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues Lee, Sanders introduce bill to tax Wall Street transactions MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeCNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC Biden retains large lead over Sanders, other 2020 Dems in new Hill-HarrisX poll The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE (D-Texas) are among other high-profile candidates that are weighing bids.