Tim Ryan will participate in the first night of the initial presidential debate

Most of the higher-polling candidates to face off on Day 2

By David Skolnick



U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan will be part of the first night of the initial two-day Democratic presidential debates later this month with most of the higher-polling candidates participating in the second night.

The Democratic National Committee announced Friday the lineups for the June 26 and 27 debates in Miami with 20 candidates – 10 for each night.

The candidates were initially separated into two groups – those who poll at or above 2 percent and those, like Ryan, who are polling below 2 percent. Then the candidates in each group were selected randomly and evenly for the two nights.

Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, will share the stage June 26 with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Warren is the only 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who is polling in the top five who will be part of the first night of the debates.

The four others will appear on the second night. They are former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

The debates will air live from 9 to 11 p.m. on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

To qualify, a candidate needed to either have at least 1 percent support in three qualifying polls or have at least 65,000 unique donors with a minimum of 200 different donors in at least 20 states.

Ryan met the polling threshold with 1 percent in at least four polls and 2 percent in a University of New Hampshire poll of that state’s Democrats, but not the donor one.

Of the 20 candidates who qualified, 14 met both polling and donor qualifications.

The top 20 candidates under the same thresholds will debate again July 30 and 31 in Detroit with 10 candidates chosen using the same random selection process for each night.

If more than 20 candidates qualify, the next step is to give preference to those who meet both thresholds, followed by highest polling average and then the most unique donors.

But the bar is raised higher for the third and fourth debates in September and October, and Ryan wouldn’t currently qualify.

To qualify for those two, a candidate needs at least 2 percent support in four qualifying polls between June 28 and Aug. 28 and contributions from at least 130,000 unique donors with a minimum of 400 different donors in at least 20 states by Aug. 28.