COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -The first part of a two-night debate featuring 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls begins, Wednesday.
According to NBC News, one of the hosts of the back-to-back debates, the 20 participating candidates were selected based on those who polled at or above 2%, plus received donations from at least 65,000 people from 20 different states.
Here are the candidates who made it:
Ten will take the stage on night one, Wednesday, and the other 10 on night two, Thursday.
It’s the very first Democratic debate of the 2020 election. NBC News is reporting that there was a random drawing to determine which of the qualifying 20 contenders would take the stage on either the first or second night of the debate. With so many candidates on stage, each participant will have 60 seconds to answer each question, and 30 seconds for any follow-up responses. There will be no opening remarks, but the candidates will have a chance to deliver closing remarks.
The candidates who did not make the cut include Governor Steve Bullock, Representative Seth Moulton, Mayor Wayne Messam, and newly announced candidate former Representative Joe Sestak.
USC professor and political analyst, Charles Bierbauer, said, “Candidates who did not meet the threshold – in terms of either number of donors or polling strength – can still do so in future debates but the threshold is going to get tougher for them to reach. So, part of this process is to begin to weed out those who just cannot sustain a campaign.”
As the 2020 democratic presidential contenders prepare to face off for the first time, Bierbauer says it will be tough to stand out above the rest, and especially with one clear leader already established in the polls.
“It’s the one time you see the candidates face-to-face, nose-to-nose in some cases. Now, with 20 it’s really problematic and they’ll all want to establish themselves,"Bierbauer said. “One of the questions is going to be, do they go directly at Joe Biden? Harder to do on the first night when he’s not there. On the other hand, on the second night will there be direct attacks or will they avoid it because this is, after all, only the first debate of many.”
The professor goes on to say that some of the topics we’ll likely hear are the same ones we’ve been hearing about – immigration, abortion rights, climate change and health care.
You can watch both nights of the debate on WIS News 10.
Each day, the debate begins at 9:00 PM.