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 BashCNN faces backlash for video highlighting white congresswomen as impeachment leaders Giuliani pulls out of event featuring Putin: reports Sanders, Yang to miss CNN's town hall on LGBTQ issues MORE, “CNN Tonight” anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonConservatives slam Beto O'Rourke over threat to tax-exempt status for religious organizations CNN LGBTQ town hall interrupted by protesters O'Rourke: Religious institutions should lose tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage MORE and “The Lead” and “State of the Union” anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperBiden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback Kasich to Congress: 'Look in the mirror at how you want to be remembered' MORE.   

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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 Ann WarrenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter knocks Zuckerberg for invoking her father while defending Facebook Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors MORE (D-Mass.) on the first night and other top-tier polling candidates, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump accuses Biden of 'quid pro quo' hours after Mulvaney remarks Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCampaign aide replaces Trump with Kamala Harris in viral 'meltdown' photo Warren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Poll: Biden, Warren support remains unchanged after Democratic debate MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors Warren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Poll: Biden, Warren support remains unchanged after Democratic debate 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 TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE won the state of Michigan in 2016, which Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFarrow: Clinton staff raised concerns over Weinstein reporting Perry says Trump directed him to discuss Ukraine with Giuliani: report The Memo: Once the front-runner, Biden now vulnerable 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.