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 Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage Schiff: Whistleblower testimony might not be necessary Trump warns Democrats will lose House seats over impeachment MORE, the race's current front-runner, was among those candidates who made the cut, as were Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Sanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' Warren enters crucial debate with big momentum MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' Three 2020 candidates have missed about half of Senate votes MORE (D-N.Y.).

The other qualifying candidates are: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegTrump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage Sanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' MORE; former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg pushes back on O'Rourke threat to strip religious institutions of tax-exempt status O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter Conservatives slam Beto O'Rourke over threat to tax-exempt status for religious organizations MORE (D-Texas); Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada MORE (D-Minn.); Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee2020 Presidential Candidates Warren environmental justice plan focuses third of climate investment on disadvantaged communities Poll: Warren closing in on Biden's lead with climate-focused voters MORE; former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperGardner dodges questions about Trump's call for Biden probe 2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' MORE; Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell2020 Presidential Candidates NBA draws bipartisan backlash over China response Former Ukraine envoy Volker to resign as head of McCain Institute MORE (D-Calif.); best-selling author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson2020 Presidential Candidates Gabbard says she may boycott next week's debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising MORE; former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangO'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada Hillicon Valley: Google, Reddit to testify on tech industry protections | Trump joins Amazon-owned Twitch | House to vote on bill to combat foreign interference O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter MORE; Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John Ryan2020 Presidential Candidates Democrats decry Trump's push to slash number of accepted refugees Harris on whistleblower complaint: 'This is a cover-up' MORE (D-Ohio); Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetThe Hill's Campaign Report: Impeachment fight to take center stage at Dem debate 2020 Presidential Candidates Bennet releases housing affordability plan MORE (D-Colo.); former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de Blasio2020 Presidential Candidates Cooperate, or else: New York threatens fines to force people to help block immigration enforcement DNC raises qualifying thresholds for fifth presidential debate MORE; Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard slams New York Times profile of her Krystal Ball defends praise of Yang: I am not 'a Russian plant' Gabbard backs Sanders proposal to ban advertisements during primary debates MORE (D-Hawaii) and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin Delaney2020 Presidential Candidates Delaney: I wouldn't allow VP's family members to sit on foreign boards Candidates wish Sanders well after heart procedure MORE (D-Md.).

Four candidates did not make the stage: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster 2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' MORE, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Moulton2020 Presidential Candidates Rep. Joe Kennedy has history on his side in Senate bid Mass shootings have hit 158 House districts so far this year MORE (D-Mass.), former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin Messam2020 primate debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the October showdown 2020 Presidential Candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump defends call as Ukraine controversy deepens 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.