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ABC News announces dates, moderators for third Democratic debate

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Aug. 21 (UPI) — ABC News revealed the planned dates, format and moderators for the third round of Democratic primary debates scheduled next month.

The debates are set to take place Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 at Texas Southern University, a public, historically black university in Houston, the network announced on Wednesday.

If 10 or fewer candidates are certified by the Democratic National Committee to participate in the debates they will take place on one night and if more than 10 candidates qualify the debates will take place over two nights.

A selection event will be held on Aug. 29 in which candidates will randomly be assigned a night to debate if more than 10 qualify.

The previous two rounds of debates have featured 20 candidates split into groups of 10 debating over two nights.

Ten candidates have qualified so far, including former Vice President Joe Biden; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; California Sen. Kamala Harris; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

In order to qualify for the debate, candidates are required to receive at least 2 percent support in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in early-voting states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada. They also must receive grassroots fundraising from at least 130,000 total unique donors and at least 400 unique donors per state in a minimum of 20 states.

The debate format will allow candidates 1 minute and 15 seconds to respond directly to questions from the moderators and 45 seconds for rebuttals.

ABC News chief anchor George Stephonapolus, World News Tonight anchor David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos will moderate the debates.

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