CNN to conduct live draw for second Democratic debates

CNN to conduct live draw for second Democratic debates
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CNN will conduct a live televised drawing to decide which of two primary debates the 20 Democratic presidential candidates will appear in on July 30 and 31, the network announced Monday.

The drawing will take place at 8 p.m. on July 18. 

The two debates, both from Detroit, will be moderated by CNN chief political correspondent Dana BashDana BashBiden accuses Trump of 'stoking deaths,' being 'falsely masculine' Demings 'concerned' over theme park openings in Florida Demings hits Trump for campaigning off Biden 'you ain't black' comments MORE, “CNN Tonight” anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonWebb: The modern age of dissent versus riot Birdwatcher questions whether response to woman who called police on him was 'proportionate' Birdwatcher: Woman's call to police was 'definitely racist' MORE and “The Lead” and “State of the Union” anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperNational security adviser blames 'a few bad apples,' says there's not systemic racism in law enforcement CNN's Jake Tapper slams 'Trump's unprecedented war on accountability' Ron Johnson says he's not 'crying big crocodile tears' over firing of State Department IG MORE.   


In order to qualify for the debates, candidates must either average more than 1 percent support in three qualified polls or have 65,000 unique donors to their respective campaigns. For the latter qualifier, the candidates must have at least 200 different donors per state in a minimum of 20 states. 

The 20 candidates who do qualify for the July debates will be notified by the Democratic National Committee and CNN on July 17, one night before the live drawing. 

The Democratic Party has sought to prevent the debates from appearing to be divided up into a “junior” and “senior” debate that would place all of the top polling candidates on one night.

It’s not clear if the drawing will be completely random or if it will ensure a similar scenario to the one used for this year’s first debates, which placed Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen Biden wins DC primary Warren asks Pentagon IG to probe military role in Trump's protest response MORE (D-Mass.) on the first night and other top-tier polling candidates, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPoll: Majority 'sympathetic' to protesters, disapprove of Trump's response In a year like no other, we'll hold the election of our lifetime The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins DC primary Biden wins Montana primary Biden wins New Mexico primary MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen Calls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Harris: Trump 'just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op' MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt MORE on the second night.

The Hill has reached out to CNN for comment. 

The first two primary debates of the 2019-2020 campaign season on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo last month captured 15.3 million viewers across the three networks on the first night and 18.1 million on the second night. 

The viewership for the second night marked the highest viewership for a Democratic primary debate in history. 

The most-watched televised primary debate occurred in August 2015, when more than 24 million people tuned in to Fox News for the first Republican debate of that campaign season. 

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? MORE won the state of Michigan in 2016, which Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump, Biden battle to shape opinion on scenes of unrest Sessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines The Memo: Trump lags in polls as crises press MORE was expected to win. Michigan, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, was one of three “blue wall” states the former real estate mogul captured to clinch his upset victory.