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First Democratic presidential debates set for Miami in June

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May 10 (UPI) — The first Democratic presidential debates have been set for June and will span two nights in Miami, NBC News announced Friday.

The network, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the initial debates on June 26 and 27 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Some 20 candidates could participate in the debates, if they meet criteria still to be determined.

NBC News said the top 20 candidates will participate, 10 each night. If more than 20 qualify, those with the highest polling averages will be chosen.

Democratic candidates could qualify for the debate if they register 1 percent support among three national polls approved by the Democratic National Committee. They could also qualify by tallying 65,000 unique campaign donors, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states.

Under the anticipated criteria, 18 Democratic candidates would qualify for the debate — including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Former congressman Beto O’Rourke also likely meets the criteria, Politico reported.

The Democratic Party will finalize the debate field two weeks before the debates. Who participates on which night will be selected at random. A second round of debates in Detroit in July will have similar qualifying rules.

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