The Democratic National Committee announced the preliminary details about its debates for the 2020 presidential nomination process. There will be six debates in 2019, once a month starting in June (with none in August) and six in 2020 ending in April.
The DNC is hoping to avoid the “kiddie table” debate format that hurt Republican candidates by relegating lower polling candidates to an earlier (and lower rated) debate by having the debates over multiple nights and each candidate getting randomly assigned to a night.
The DNC is keeping in place its rule asking candidates to not take part in unsanctioned debates, but candidates are allowed to take part in town hall- or forum-styled events where only one candidate is on-stage at a time. Those events became popular during the 2016 process as a substitute for the highly-rated but limited debates.
“To win back the presidency in 2020, Democrats must lead with our values. That began with the historic reforms to expand and increase trust in our party, and it will continue by conducting party business fairly, transparently, and inclusively throughout the 2020 primary process,” said DNC chair Tom Perez in a statement. “To that end, we have listened and learned about debate experiences from a wide array of stakeholders.”