With the first Democratic debate of the 2020 presidential election in the bag, here's a primer with information on what you should know about that two-night event and future debates.
When and How to Watch the 2020 Democratic Presidential Debates
The Democratic National Committee has approved up to 12 debates. Six debates are scheduled in 2019 and six more set for 2020. NBC News went first which makes CNN's the next debate up.
CNN will host its debate on July 30 and 31 from Detroit, Michigan. Ten candidates are debating from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m ET each night. Qualifying rules are the same as for the first debate (more on that below).
The debate will air on CNN, CNN en Español and CNN International. The network said it will not require a log-in from a cable provider for accessing its live debate stream.
CNN said it will hold a drawing live on July 18 to determine who will debate when.
Candidates will be allowed opening and closing statements, 60 seconds to answer questions from moderators and 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals. In contrast to NBC News' debate, CNN said its would not include "show of hands" questions or ones calling for one-word answers. The network also vowed to reduce time for candidates who repeatedly interrupt.
ABC News will host the third presidential debate on Sept. 12 and 13 in Houston and also air live on Univision with a Spanish translation. This debate will be harder to qualify for than the first two (more on that below).
The first debate, sponsored by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo, took place on June 26 and June 27at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Florida. Watch everything each candidate said on night one and night two.
At NBC's debate candidates were allowed closing statements but no openers.
The 20 Democrats Who Made the First Presidential Primary Debate Lineup in Miami Were
NBC News announced on June 14 the lineups of Democratic presidential candidates who appeared on stage at the first debates in Miami.
The first group of 10 who appeared on Wednesday, June 26: Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
More coverage from night one:
The second group of 10 who appeared on Thursday, June 27: Sen. Kamala Harris of California, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, author Marianne Williamson, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado.
More coverage from night two:
Another new candidate who entered the race and hopes to make future debates is former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak.
So...Who Won the First Democratic Debate?
That's ultimately for the voters to decide. Kamala Harris received an initial bump in the polls and Joe Biden slid, according to some polls. Here is how NBC News' political team assessed the hopefuls on round one and round two.
How Candidates Qualify for the First Two Democratic Presidential Primary Debates
In February, the DNC published specific debate guidelines spelling out what candidates have to do to participate.
Democratic candidates may qualify for the first and second debate by meeting one of the two following sets of criteria:
Criteria 1- Polling Method: Participants must register 1% or more support in three polls (which may be national polls, or polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada) publicly released between Jan. 1, 2019, and 14 days prior to the date of the debate. Qualifying polls will be limited to those sponsored by one or more of the following organizations/institutions: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Las Vegas Review Journal, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Quinnipiac University, Reuters, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Winthrop University. Any candidate’s three qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas.
Criteria 2 - Grassroots Fundraising Method: Candidates may qualify for the debate by demonstrating that the campaign has received donations from at least (1) 65,000 unique donors; and (2) a minimum of 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states.
If more than 20 candidates qualify, here is how a tiebreaker would work, according to NBC News. Candidates who meet both the polling and fundraising criteria would get preference. If that still doesn't winnow the field, then preference goes to candidates with the highest polling average.
How Candidates Will be Selected for Future 2020 Presidential Debates
For the third debate, the DNC is essentially doubling the polling and fundraising thresholds set for the first two debates — and requiring candidates to meet both standards, instead of just one or the other, NBC News reported.
Candidates will need to register at least 2 percent in four major polls conducted this summer and receive donations from at least 130,000 individual donors, including at least 400 in 20 states.
Who Will Moderate the 2020 Presidential Debates?
CNN's Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper will moderate the second debate on July 30 and 31, the network reported.
There were five moderators for the first debate: "TODAY" co-anchor and NBC News chief legal analyst Savannah Guthrie, "NBC Nightly News" and "Dateline" anchor Lester Holt, "Meet the Press" moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and "Noticias Telemundo" and "NBC Nightly News Saturday" anchor José Diaz-Balart.
Holt moderated for both hours. Guthrie and Diaz-Balart co-moderated for the first hour, while Todd and Maddow joined Holt for the second hour, NBC News said.
Specific hosts and moderators have not yet been revealed for subsequent debates.
The DNC has said it will have at least one female and non-white moderator at each Democratic presidential debate.
"The DNC is committed to an inclusive and fair debate process," DNC senior adviser Mary Beth Cahill told Refinery29, which first reported the debates will have at least one female moderator. "That means that all 12 DNC sanctioned debates will feature a diverse group of moderators and panelists including women and people of color, ensuring that the conversations reflect the concerns of all Americans."
HuffPost later reported that the debates will also include at least one person of color as a moderator, who could also be the same person as the female moderator.