CNN Reveals Qualifying Candidates for Next Presidential Debate, Previews Lineup ‘Draw’

The 10 Democratic presidential candidates debating Wednesday night. (Brynn Anderson/AP)
Brynn Anderson/AP

CNN unveiled the qualifying candidates for the next Democrat debate hosted by the network at the end of the month and will conduct a live draw to determine the lineup on Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday night.

On Wednesday, the network – which is hosting the next set of Democrat debates July 30 and 31 in Detroit – unveiled the qualifying candidates, who had to reach a fundraising threshold of 65,000 unique donors with 200 from 20 different states or reach 1 percent in three select polls in order to qualify. Only 20 candidates qualified, due to the Democratic National Committee’s 20 candidates cap.

The qualifying candidates are:

  • Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CA)
  • Joe Biden (D)
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Gov. Steve Bullock (D)
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D)
  • Julián Castro (D)
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio (D)
  • John Delaney (D)
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
  • John Hickenlooper (D)
  • Gov. Jay Inslee (D)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Beto O’Rourke (D)
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Marianne Williamson (D)
  • Andrew Yang (D)

With Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) officially out of the race, Bullock will be able to make an appearance on stage this round. Only two candidates – Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Mayor Wayne Messam (D) – failed to qualify.

CNN will determine the debate lineup during a live drawing Thursday night on Anderson Cooper 360. The candidates have already been pre-grouped based on polling data in order to “ensure support for the candidates is evenly spread across both nights.” Three different CNN anchors will conduct each draw.

These are the three groups, via CNN:

  • The First Draw will include 10 candidates: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and author Marianne Williamson.
  • The Second Draw will include six candidates: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and businessman Andrew Yang.
  • The Final Draw will include four candidates: Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

CNN released the rules for the debates last week, which effectively prevent shows of hands, one-word responses, and down-the-line questions. Some believe CNN put such stringent rules in place in order to “protect” candidates from revealing some of their more extreme positions.

As Breitbart News reported:

Democrats in the second debate last month were asked to raise a hand if their healthcare plan provided free services to illegal aliens. Every single one of the candidates during the second debate expressed support for providing taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens.

CNN will determine the podium positions based on recent polling data following Thursday night’s draw.


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