Category: Today At Utah Policy

DNC Chair Tom Perez has announced 12 presidential primary debates to be held over the course of the 2020 cycle, with the first two occurring in June and July of this year.

Perez said his goals for the Democratic presidential primary debates are to (1) give the grassroots a bigger voice than ever before; (2)  showcase our candidates on an array of media platforms; (3) present an opportunity for vigorous discussion about issues, ideas and solutions; and (4) reach as many potential voters as possible. 

The DNC announced NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo as its partner for the first debate and CNN as its partner for the second debate.  To accommodate what is expected to be a historically large primary field, both debates will have the option of occurring over consecutive nights in prime time to make room for as many as twenty candidates, with the lineups for each night determined at random.  This approach will provide each candidate with a fair opportunity to make his or her case to a large, national audience.This agreement is unprecedented -  no debate has ever aired in prime time on back-to-back nights. Both debates will be streamed online for free.The DNC also announced the qualification criteria for candidates’ participation in the first two debates - a two-path system that employs both a polling threshold and a grassroots fundraising threshold, and uses the two measures in combination in the event that more than 20 candidates qualify.

Perez said:

“As Chair of the DNC, I am committed to running an open and transparent primary process.  To that end, we’ve spent months working with media partners to provide this unprecedented opportunity for candidates and voters to get to know each other.  Because campaigns are won on the strength of their grassroots, we also updated the threshold, giving all types of candidates the opportunity to reach the debate stage and giving small-dollar donors a bigger voice in the primary than ever before.”



Democratic candidates may qualify for the first and second debate by meeting one of the two following sets of criteria: