By Amanda Becker
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will have the chance for a re-match on the second night of the second round of Democratic presidential debates later this month in Detroit, CNN announced on Thursday.
The first night will feature U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, making it a likely competition between the two high-profile progressives, who will be flanked by more moderate, lesser-known candidates.
The four front-runners, who lead in opinion polls, were divided equally among the two debate nights in a live, randomized drawing televised by the news network.
Two other tiers of candidates with lower polling numbers and fundraising tallies were also divvied up between the July 30 and July 31 debates. The only new candidate on stage after the first round of debates in June will be Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who is replacing U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell, who dropped out of the 2020 White House race earlier this month.
Candidates in the crowded field of Democrats vying to take on President Donald Trump in November 2020 who did not qualify for the July debates are U.S. Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, former U.S. Representative Joe Sestak, and Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida.
To qualify for the Detroit debates, the Democratic Party required that candidates have 65,000 donors, including at least 200 individual donors in 20 different states, or register 1% support in three qualifying public opinion polls.
The first round of debates in Miami last month shifted the race. Polls tightened after a strong performance by Harris, who confronted front-runner Biden over his record on race.
The Democrats plan at least 12 debates during the nominating race. The qualifying standards are significantly tougher for the next debates in September in Houston, when candidates will need to register 2% in at least four polls and have 130,000 unique donors.
The state-by-state nominating contests kick off next February in Iowa.
The candidates debating on July 30:
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Montana Governor Steve Bullock
U.S. Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio
Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Former U.S. Representative John Delaney of Maryland
Author Marianne Williamson
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas
The candidates debating on July 31:
Former Vice President Joe Biden
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California
U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington
Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro
(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Leslie Adler)