CNN Announces Candidate Lineup for Second Democratic Presidential Debate

By Kelsey Sutton 

The second Democratic debates are fast approaching, and CNN on Thursday night divvied up the 20 qualifying Democratic presidential candidates into two groups that will go head-to-head over a two-night stretch on Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will go head-to-head on the debate stage for the first time on July 30 alongside Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and author Marianne Williamson.

The following night, former vice president Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris will once again share the debate stage along with Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and businessman Andrew Yang.


The line-up was announced live on CNN Thursday evening. To qualify for the debate, candidates had to certify with the Democratic National Committee that they had either 1% support in three polls (from a list of approved pollsters) or that they received campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including at least 200 unique donors per state from at least 20 different states. CNN divvied up the bottom 10 candidates, the middle six candidates and the top four candidates in three rounds of random drawings.

The live prime time event, which will be hosted by CNN’s Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, will be broadcast live from Detroit, Michigan. Both nights will air on CNN and CNN en Español, and will be simulcast on CNN International. The debates will also be streamed live on, on CNN’s iOS and Android apps, and via CNNgo apps on connected TV devices like Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. Viewers will not need to provide cable log-in credentials to stream the debates.

The CNN-hosted debate will be the second of six rounds of presidential primary debates planned for 2019. The first debates of the 2020 presidential race were jointly hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo and took place on Wednesday, June 26, and Thursday, June 27 in Miami. ABC and Univision are co-hosting the third primary debate, another two-night affair that will begin on September 12 and will be broadcast from Houston, Texas.

Before it’s done, expect a total of 12 presidential primary debates: there are six more planned for 2020.