The second Democratic presidential debate of the pre-primary season will take place in Detroit on July 30 and 31, party officials announced this afternoon.
Lavora Barnes, the new chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, said the debate will take place over two nights to accommodate the crowded field.
“The road to the White House runs through Michigan, and we are pleased that our partners at the Democratic National Committee have decided to hold one of our party’s all-important presidential debates here,” Barnes said.
The Detroit Free Press reported that the location for the event has not yet been chosen but CNN will oversee the debate and broadcast it live.
A Michigan debate was anticipated because Michigan was one of the key states that put President Donald Trump over the top in the 2016 election.
The Detroit debate will be one of 12 held during the primary election cycle, with Miami kicking things off for the Democrats on June 26-27. Sixteen candidates have formally entered the race and more are expected to follow, including the early frontrunner in national polls, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The field currently consists of Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; former congressmen Beto O’Rourke of Texas and John Delaney of Maryland; Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend., Ind.; Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Fla.; author Marianne Williamson; and business entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
According to party rules, a candidate can qualify for participation in the debates by posting at least 1 percent support in three separate national polls or in polls conducted in one of the four early states to hold 2020 primaries or caucuses – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. In the alternative, a candidate can also qualify by receiving campaign contributions from at least 65,000 donors. About a dozen candidates have already reached one of those thresholds.
With the event spread over two consecutive nights, the lineup of contenders for each night will be selected at random.