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 hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE, the race's current front-runner, was among those candidates who made the cut, as were Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (D-N.Y.).

The other qualifying candidates are: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE; former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeProgressive activist: Democratic nominee will 'need to ride a little bit to the center' Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points MORE (D-Texas); Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use MORE (D-Minn.); Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleePoll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Debunking Democrats' claims about fossil fuel tax breaks MORE; former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Wright HickenlooperPoll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate MORE; Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell2020 Democrat: Trump is a national security risk 2020 Democrat: Trump is a national security risk Campaign dads fit fatherhood between presidential speeches MORE (D-Calif.); best-selling author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonJuan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Juan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Five takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup MORE; former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew Yang2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters Juan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP MORE; Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John Ryan2020 Democrat: Harriet Tubman will be on 'within the first year of my presidency' 2020 Democrat: Harriet Tubman will be on 'within the first year of my presidency' Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement MORE (D-Ohio); Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate MORE (D-Colo.); former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioPoll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement MORE; Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardJuan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Juan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale MORE (D-Hawaii) and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyFive takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup Five takeaways from first Democratic debate lineup Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement MORE (D-Md.).

Four candidates did not make the stage: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBullock posts video of #dadjokes for Father's Day Bullock posts video of #dadjokes for Father's Day Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate MORE, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg to debate; Warren on separate night MORE (D-Mass.), former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg to debate; Warren on separate night 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.