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DNC announces lineup for first debate

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced on Thursday the 20 Democrats running for president who will take part in the first debate later this month, with four left off the prime-time stage.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Five things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs MORE, the race's current front-runner, was among those candidates who made the cut, as were Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden announces all-female White House communications team The 'diploma divide' in American politics Bernie Sanders should opt for a government-created vaccine from China or Russia MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenInequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift Thomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden announces all-female White House communications team Biden to nominate Neera Tanden, Cecilia Rouse to economic team: WSJ Memo to Biden: Go big — use the moment to not only rebuild but to rebuild differently MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory BookerDangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' MORE (D-N.Y.).

The other qualifying candidates are: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly MORE; former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeMexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized Mexico emerging as foreign policy challenge for Biden Beyoncé sports pro-Biden mask on Instagram MORE (D-Texas); Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (D-Minn.); Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington county warns of at least 17 positive tests after 300-person wedding The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down Washington state issues sweeping restrictions to combat coronavirus surge MORE; former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperDemocrats frustrated, GOP jubilant in Senate fight Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  MORE; Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellJuan Williams: Defeated Trump is in legal peril Taylor Swift allows song to be used in campaign ad Graham says SC people of color can go anywhere in the state but 'need to be conservative, not liberal' MORE (D-Calif.); best-selling author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson discusses America's "soulless ethos" Marianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention Fewer people watched opening night of Democratic convention compared to 2016 MORE; former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangGroups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffs Media and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Andrew Yang: Democrats need to adopt message that government is 'working for them' MORE; Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Now's the time to make 'Social Emotional Learning' a national priority Mourners gather outside Supreme Court after passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg MORE (D-Ohio); Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Hickenlooper ousts Gardner in Colorado, handing Democrats vital pickup Lobbying world MORE (D-Colo.); former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioDe Blasio to reopen New York elementary schools in reversal Macy's will still hold Thanksgiving Day Parade amid pandemic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday MORE; Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSix people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity Native Americans elected to Congress in record numbers this year MORE (D-Hawaii) and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.).

Four candidates did not make the stage: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Overnight Defense: Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper | Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon | Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up | Pelosi says Esper firing shows Trump intent on sowing 'chaos' Democratic lawmakers lambast Trump over Esper firing as GOP remains mum MORE (D-Mass.), former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE.

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The debate marks the first time that so many 2020 contenders will share the stage at the same time, making it prime real estate for candidates — especially those struggling to break through in the race — to pitch their visions to voters.

But the candidates who didn’t qualify will likely find their campaigns on life support, struggling for new donations and media attention in the crowded field of 24 people.

The first debate will be split between two nights on June 26 and 27, with 10 candidates onstage each night. It will be broadcast on MSNBC, Telemundo and NBC. 

It's still unknown which candidates will debate on which night. A lottery to determine the debate lineup will be held at NBC headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York on Friday. 

The candidates with the highest polling averages will be split between the two nights along with candidates with lower polling averages to ensure there is no perception of a “junior” debate. 

To qualify for the June debate, presidential hopefuls had to either collect contributions from at least 65,000 unique donors, including 200 in 20 different states, or notch at least 1 percent support in three polls.

Out of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first debate, 14 met both thresholds, while six met only the polling requirement. 

Candidates left out will have another chance to make the debate in July under the same criteria, before they are set to double for debates in the fall. 

But not making it to the stage in June will likely deal a consequential blow.

Bullock on Thursday disputed the DNC's conclusion, arguing he had met the polling threshold and challenging the committee's decision to not count a January survey published Feb. 9 by The Washington Post and ABC News. That survey asked voters which candidate they would support without naming the candidates itself, a type of question pollsters call open-ended.

The Montana governor entered the race in May, months after some of the candidates, saying he was focused on his work in the state.

Meanwhile, Moulton, who entered the race in April, sought to play down the impact of his exclusion from the June debate, saying he was "not losing any sleep over it."

"I knew that getting in the race so late there was a strong chance I’d miss the first debate—and yes, I will. But fear not! I’m not losing any sleep over it, and neither should you," the Massachusetts congressman said in an email to supporters. 

"This race is a marathon, not a sprint," he added. 

— Updated at 6:16 p.m.