This is the first time that candidates will be able to draw contrasts with their rivals in a face-to-face setting.
Here is how to watch:
When are the first debates?
The first pair of Democratic debates is taking place on Wednesday and Thursday in Miami from 9 to 11 p.m. EDT on NBC.
Get ready for the debates all day on CNN.com and then stay with us for real-time news, analysis and fact-checking during and after the debates. CNN will have live TV programming starting at 11 p.m. EDT breaking down the biggest moments and story lines from the first debates.
What are the lineups?
The Wednesday debate featured:
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas
- Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
- Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York
- Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
- Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
The Thursday debate will feature:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
- Sen. Kamala Harris of California
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
- Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
- Author Marianne Williamson
- Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
- Businessman Andrew Yang
- Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
Who didn’t make the cut?
Three Democratic hopefuls — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida — did not qualify for the first contests. Former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania entered the race too late to qualify for this initial set of debates.
Catch up on night one of the debate
- Democrats invoke a post-Trump America in first half of debate derby
- Winners and losers from the 1st 2020 Democratic debate
- Fact-checking the first night of the first Democratic presidential debate
- 8 takeaways from the Democratic presidential debate’s first night
- Democratic debate: Night one by the numbers
How were the debate stages decided?
Candidates had to qualify for the first debates by either receiving at least 1% support in three polls from an approved list of pollsters or receiving campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from 20 different states.
NBC divided the 20 qualifying candidates into two groups: those with polling averages at 2% or higher and those whose polling averages are under 2%. NBC then did a random selection, dividing up the top tier and lower tier into the two nights.
What are the rules for the debates?
Candidates have one minute to respond to questions and 30 seconds for follow-ups, according to NBC News. Each two-hour debate will be divided into five parts with four commercial breaks.
Candidates will not have the opportunity to make opening remarks but will be given time for closing statements.
Catch up on the candidates
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- ‘Every one of the decisions is her decision:’ Inside Elizabeth Warren’s policy factory
- What’s behind Elizabeth Warren’s rise? This wall of letters at her campaign HQ offers some clues
- Elizabeth Warren’s rise opens a new chapter in the progressive primary
- Elizabeth Warren flew out of DC’s most notorious airport gate. Here’s what happened.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
- Jay Inslee proposes ending fossil fuel subsidies in latest proposal to combat climate crisis
- Jay Inslee calls out Joe Biden on combating climate change: ‘We have to live in the real world here’
- Inslee: DNC rejecting climate change debate is ‘extremely disappointing’
- Inslee unveils plan to combat climate change through foreign policy
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
Sen. Kamala Harris of California
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
Author Marianne Williamson
Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
Businessman Andrew Yang
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper