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Democrats name lineup for first 2020 debate

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on June 14, 2019 - Duration: 02:15s

Democrats name lineup for first 2020 debate

The Democratic National Committee names the 20 presidential candidates who qualified for the first pivotal debate at the end of June.

A sitting U.S. governor and a congressman are among the four left off the stage.

Eve Johnson reports.

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Democrats name lineup for first 2020 debate

Countdown to the 2020 U.S. Presidential elections and Democratic hopefuls have faced their first challenge: who gets to duke it out on the debate stage.

On Thursday (June 14) the Democratic National Committee unveiled the lineup for its first pivotal debate in Miami later this month.

Twenty candidates made the cut while 4 are out, including: Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, former Senator Mike Gravel, Wayne Messam, a mayor from Florida and Montana governor Steve Bullock.

Reuters Ginger Gibson says the news has stirred some outrage... especially when it comes to Bullock.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) REUTERS U.S. ELECTION REPORTER GINGER GIBSON SAYING: "He thought that he was going to qualify.

There was a poll that was conducted by ABC that would have helped him meet threshold to qualify for that debate but the DNC has decided that that poll does not count and therefore a sitting governor is being turned away from the democratic debate.

Meanwhile what would normally be considered lesser-known or fringe candidates, like Marian Williamson who has never held public office before, or Andrew Yang who is running on kind of single issue and is also a bit of a fringe candidate, have qualified for the debate." This year's enormous field of candidates has made things tricky for the Democratic Party.

It's laid down some rules in order trim the number who will take the stage.

Candidates must have won a minimum of 1 percent support in three polls and donations from at least 65,000 people including 200 donors in each of 20 states.

All this has sparked some criticism within the party.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) REUTERS U.S. ELECTION REPORTER GINGER GIBSON SAYING: "It was meant to keep out some of the long-shot fringe candidates, the ones who don't really stand much of a chance and was thought that a big debate stage would allow some of the lesser-known maybe office holders like a governor to get some name recognition.

And it seems the opposite has happened." The debates will be held over two nights on June 26th and 27th with presidential hopefuls randomly divided between the two nights However, those at the top of the polls will be spread out evenly.

Giving lesser-known candidates a chance for their viral moment on the national stage.

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