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We still don’t know exactly which candidates will be on the stage, but we have our moderators for the first Democratic presidential debate later this month after the news was announced on the Today show.


The debate, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo, is slated for June 26 and 27 in Miami. In total, there will be 20 candidates on stage—10 each night—with the debates running for two hours, from 9 to 11 p.m. ET, per NBC.

To qualify, Dems need to register either 1 percent in three nationally qualified polls or log 65,000 unique campaign donors, with a minimum of 200 donors across 20 states. Yesterday, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand touted that she’d reached the donor threshold—after previously meeting the polling qualifier—to make the debate. According to an analysis by Politico, 13 other candidates are “double qualifiers,” who’ve met both conditions to make the debate stage: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.

Showing a clear awareness that this situation is untenable, the Democratic National Committee has already announced a set of more stringent qualifiers for candidates to make the next debate in September.

My only remaining question: Will someone pull a we don’t care about your damn emails line if Maddow asks about Russia?

Managing Editor, Splinter