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 BashTrump says officials will investigate whether California is using 1619 Project in classrooms Veterans Affairs secretary defends Trump: 'I judge a man by his actions' GOP senator dismisses national intelligence director election security briefings: 'This is blown way out of proportion' MORE, “CNN Tonight” anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonCNN's Don Lemon: 'Blow up the entire system' remark taken out of context CNN's Lemon: 'We're going to have to blow up the entire system' if Democrats win back White House, Senate Scaramucci to Lemon: Trump 'doubling down' on downplaying virus 'should scare' viewers MORE and “The Lead” and “State of the Union” anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperThe media's misleading use of COVID-19 data Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 'We can't spend much time grieving' Ginsburg Pence aide dismisses concerns rushed vote on Trump nominee will hurt vulnerable senators 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 WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.) on the first night and other top-tier polling candidates, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Sanders tells Maher 'there will be a number of plans' to remove Trump if he loses Sirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act What Kamala Harris' VP nomination means to us Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBillionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November Buttigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice 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 TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE won the state of Michigan in 2016, which Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close 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.