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 BashDemocratic contenders unload on news media CNN roasted over debate production, format: 'A disservice to serious people' The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time for 2020 Democrats in Detroit debate MORE, “CNN Tonight” anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonEight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall CNN's Don Lemon sued by Hamptons bartender over alleged assault Scarborough blasts 2020 Democrats for attacking Obama's policies more than Trump's MORE and “The Lead” and “State of the Union” anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperButtigieg says voting for Trump is 'at best' looking the other way on racism White House trade adviser says Chinese tariffs are not hurting US Former acting solicitor general: 'Literally unfathomable' that Trump would retweet conspiracy theory about Epstein death 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 WarrenSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Mass.) on the first night and other top-tier polling candidates, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTop adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' 'Forever war' slogans short-circuit the scrutiny required of national security choices MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegTop adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' Biden, Sanders lead Trump in hypothetical match-ups: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes 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 Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE won the state of Michigan in 2016, which Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 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.