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 endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE, the race's current front-runner, was among those candidates who made the cut, as were Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan To break the corporate tax logjam, tax overinflated CEO pay MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate confirms Biden's Air Force secretary Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Will Pence primary Trump — and win? MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer Congress can make progress on fighting emissions with Zero Food Waste Act MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Clean power repurposes dirty power Senators hail 'historic changes' as competing proposals to tackle military sexual assault advance Overnight Defense: Military justice overhaul included in defense bill | Pentagon watchdog to review security of 'nuclear football' | Pentagon carries out first air strike in Somalia under Biden MORE (D-N.Y.).

The other qualifying candidates are: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegChasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE; former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor Beto O'Rourke, Willie Nelson financially back Texas Democrats in elections bill fight Texans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll MORE (D-Texas); Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Competition laws could be a death knell for startup mergers and acquisitions MORE (D-Minn.); Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel Biden administration stokes frustration over Canada Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer MORE; former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperBipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Colorado lawmaker warns of fire season becoming year-round The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden helps negotiate bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE; Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellTech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push Justice in legal knot in Mo Brooks, Trump case Mo Brooks's Jan. 6 defense raises questions about official immunity and DOJ strategy MORE (D-Calif.); best-selling author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson calls on Biden to drop efforts to extradite Assange Susan Sarandon and Marianne Williamson call for justice in Steven Donziger case Marianne Williamson: Refusal to hike minimum wage is part of 'rigged economy' MORE; former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Kings launch voting rights effort honoring John Lewis Eric Adams to meet with Biden on curbing gun violence MORE; Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanSix takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer MORE (D-Ohio); Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHow Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform For true American prosperity, make the child tax credit permanent Colorado lawmaker warns of fire season becoming year-round MORE (D-Colo.); former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioFDNY union comes out against de Blasio vaccine requirement California to require state employees, health care workers be vaccinated The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's agenda faces more difficulties MORE; Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard on Chicago mayor's decision to limit media interviews to people of color: 'Anti-white racism' Fox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials MORE (D-Hawaii) and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyDirect air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Lobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis MORE (D-Md.).

Four candidates did not make the stage: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve Bullock65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal Arkansas, New Jersey governors to head National Governors Association Biden 'allies' painting him into a corner MORE, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonOvernight Defense: Senate panel adds B to Biden's defense budget | House passes bill to streamline visa process for Afghans who helped US | Pentagon confirms 7 Colombians arrested in Haiti leader's killing had US training Business, labor groups teaming in high-speed rail push Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer 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.