Democratic debates: Everything you need to know about the first debate of 2020 election season

/ CBS News

Castro and O'Rourke spar over immigration policy

After an evening of bilingual debating, it's night two for the 2020 Democratic debates — the first for the 2020 election cycle. Wednesday's debate featured ten candidates fighting on primetime television to prove they're bona fides to Democratic voters in a series of 60-second increments. They talked about immigration, health care and the economy, among other topics.

Twenty more Democratic candidates will now take questions in downtown Miami Thursday evening.

How do I stream the debate for free?

NBCNews.com, NBC News apps, Telemundo and NBC News' Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

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CBSN will carry coverage and analysis all-night long. CBS News correspondents Ed O'Keefe and Caitlin Huey-Burns will have coverage throughout the day. A special edition of "Red & Blue" will air at 5 p.m. ET and special pre-debate show at 8 p.m. CBSN will also provide real-time analysis and fact-checking live while the debate unfolds.

Follow the CBS News live blog of the Democratic debates tonightWhen is the first debate?

The first debate takes place Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27. Each night will feature 10 candidates.

What channel is the debate on?

The first debate will be broadcast on NBC and its other networks Telemundo and MSNBC.

Where is the debate being held?

The first debate will take place in downtown Miami, Florida at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

What time does the debate start?

Both Wednesday and Thursday, the debate starts at 9 p.m. and is scheduled to run until 11 p.m. ET.

Who is in the debate?

To qualify for the first debate, candidates had to fulfill one of two criteria: either get 65,000 donors to their campaigns, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or obtain at least 1% in three polls recognized as legitimate by the committee. Fourteen of the candidates met both of the criteria to qualify for the debates.

If more than 20 candidates had qualified for the debate, the DNC said it would choose participants with "a methodology that gives primacy to candidates meeting both thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors."

June 26 debate lineup

June 27 debate lineup

Who isn't in the debate?

Four candidates failed to qualify for the first debate.

What are the debate rules?

According to NBC News, candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. There will be no opening statements, but the contenders will have a chance to deliver closing remarks at the close of the debate.

How do candidates qualify for the debate?

To qualify for the first debate in Miami, which will play out over two nights, candidates had to fulfill one of two criteria: either get 65,000 donors to their campaigns, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states or obtain at least 1% in three polls recognized as legitimate by the committee. According to NBC News, which is hosting the debate, candidates' podium placements will be "based on polling."

Who is moderating the debate?

NBC announced five anchors will be moderating the debate. Lester Holt will moderate both hours. He will be joined by Savannah Guthrie ("Today") and Jose Diaz-Balart ("Noticias Telemundo") for the first hour. Rachel Maddow ("The Rachel Maddow Show") and Chuck Todd ("Meet the Press") will join him for the second hour. This format will be the same for both debates.

When is the next debate?

The second debate will be held on July 30 and 31 in Detroit, Michigan, and will be broadcast live on CNN. The same criteria for qualifying will be used for these second set of debates in July.

Will Trump watch the debates?

President Trump left Wednesday afternoon to attend the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. In a morning interview, Mr. Trump told Fox Business that he would begrudgingly watch the first 2020 Democratic debate during his flight to Japan. He predicted that while it will be "very boring" to watch, "I have to watch it, it's a part of my life now."

"Do I want to watch these people? It's a very unexciting group of people," Mr. Trump said of the presidential contenders.

First published on June 26, 2019 / 2:31 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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