NBC set the lineup for its two-night debate of 2020 presidential contenders later this month, with a top-heavy second session that will pit former Vice President Joe Biden onstage against 2016 Democratic runner-up Bernie Sanders, the youthful Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Sen.
Of course, the actual election is still more than a year away, and the Democratic candidates have yet to even hold their first debate. Sanders, I-Vt., and Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend Mayor Buttigieg are four of the five highest-polling candidates in recent national and early-voting state polling. The debate will be shown both nights in prime time, 9 p.m.to 11 p.m., on the broadcast network, as well as on MSNBC and Telemundo, and it will be streamed on various platforms.
The lineup for the first two-hour session on June 26 features Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto (BET'-oh) O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar (KLOH'-buh-shar), Juli?n Castro, Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh), John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Tim Ryan and Jay Inslee.
On Wednesday, for the first time during the 2020 presidential primary cycle, the independent socialist senator from Vermont trailed his progressive MA neighbor Sen.
Despite some fear that more than 20 candidates would qualify, leading to some messy tie-breaking procedures, fate intervened and only 20 candidates ended up making the cut.
The Vermont senator brushed off the drop during a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace, saying that "polls go up and polls go down". However, polls show that Senator Bernie Sanders maintains a large, loyal following. Biden is the favorite among 32% of Democrats with Sanders a distant second at 13%. NBC personalities Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and Jose Diaz-Balart will be featured.
We now know which Democratic presidential candidates will face off during the upcoming debates in Miami.
In addition to the top-tier candidates, Day Two will include Senator Michael Bennet; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, congressman Eric Swalwell; best-selling author on spirituality Marianne Williamson; and technology entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
The Republican Party faced that criticism in its 2016 primary debates, when it put candidates polling poorly in a separate debate from the front running candidates. But we still have a long way to go until the Iowa caucuses (234 days, to be exact) and there's an entire field of Democrats eager to test their mettle against Trump - and Biden.