The dates and location for the second round of Democratic debates have been set: Tuesday, July 30th and Wednesday, July 31st in Detroit, Michigan.
Of course, Michigan is an important state for the DNC to win in 2020 if they are to win the Presidency, as Trump won the important Rust Belt states, particularly Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, in 2016, despite pre-election polling indicating a likely Clinton win.
Like the first debates a few weeks back, the stage will be completely full both nights, with the DNC accepting 20 candidates (the maximum).
Interestingly, however, 21 candidates qualified for the debates.
Here’s how the DNC determined who would be the unfortunate candidate to be excluded.
Fourteen candidates were projected to have qualified by both the DNC polling requirement of 3 national or early-voting state polls with 1 percent AND 65,000 individual donors across 20 states. These candidates were certain to be on the debate stage:
- Joe Biden
- Cory Booker
- Pete Buttigieg
- Julian Castro
- Tulsi Gabbard
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- Kamala Harris
- Jay Inslee
- Amy Klobuchar
- Beto O’Rourke
- Bernie Sanders
- Elizabeth Warren
- Marianne Williamson
- Andrew Yang
Six other candidates qualified but only by meeting one of the two requirements: the 65,000 donor threshold. These candidates include Michael Bennet, Bill de Blasio, Steve Bullock, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, and Tim Ryan.
Steve Bullock, who was not selected for the first debate, has also reached the polling requirement. Bullock’s main campaign priority is to combat dark money in politics. Bullock, the current Montana Governor, will be the only new addition to the stage, as he will take the place of California Representative Eric Swalwell, who dropped out a week ago.
Mike Gravel, former Senator from Alaska, managed to reach 65,000 donors, but due the DNC’s prioritization of polling over donors, he will not be on the debate stage. Gravel, 89, has been running an issue-oriented campaign focused on ending the wars and has allowed two 18-year-olds to manage the day-to-day campaign responsibilities. The 18-year-olds have been running an entertaining campaign, by incentivizing small donations to meet the donor mark by offering a signed Mike Gravel rock to the 65,000th person and calling for the support of the “Gravelanch.” He is expected to end his campaign soon and spend all contributions to his campaign on a combination by running advertisements against certain candidates, especially Joe Biden, and by donating the rest to charities determined by his supporters.
Republicans will not be holding debates leading up to 2020, as the party voted to eliminate the debate committee just over a year ago. However, President Donald Trump does have one official opponent in the Republican primaries: former Massachusetts Governor, Bill Weld. Also, former Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, former Ohio Governor John Kasich, and former South Carolina Governor and Representative Mark Sanford have been rumored to be considering running against Trump in the primaries.