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 WarrenWarren adds her pronouns to Twitter bio Biden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll Analysis: Harris, Buttigieg and Trump lead among California donations The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (D-Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown Rand Paul accuses Jon Stewart of being 'part of left-wing mob' after criticism over 9/11 victim fund MORE (D-N.Y.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown MORE (D-N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator MORE (D-Minn.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for second Democratic showdown Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown Bullock makes CNN debate stage MORE (D-Hawaii), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for next Democratic debate Delaney denies report staff asked him to drop out of 2020 race Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 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 BidenBiden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll Analysis: Harris, Buttigieg and Trump lead among California donations The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE is expected to jump into the race, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll Analysis: Harris, Buttigieg and Trump lead among California donations The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for second Democratic showdown Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally MORE (D-Texas) are among other high-profile candidates that are weighing bids.