Five NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo stars will put questions to 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls later this month at the first 2020 primary debate.
The network announced Tuesday “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, "Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, MSNBC prime-time host Rachel Maddow, and “Noticias Telemundo” and “NBC Nightly News Saturday” anchor José Díaz-Balart will moderate the debate in Miami on June 26 and 27.
In recent election cycles, debate moderators have come under increasing scrutiny for both their selection of questions and handling of the candidates. For this widely anticipated first 2020 debate, the networks have tapped moderators who are both well-known to viewers of its marquee news and opinion programs and who have experience on the debate stage.
Holt moderated the first 2016 general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, while Todd teamed up with Maddow for a 2016 Democratic debate between Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Todd joined Díaz-Balart for a 2016 forum between the two Democratic contenders.
The upcoming debate will air during prime-time on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, with up to 10 candidates appearing each night. To qualify, candidates had to receive more than 65,000 individual donations — including from 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states — or at least 1 percent in three polls approved by the Democratic National Committee. More than a dozen candidates crossed both thresholds, with at least 20 already hitting one of them.
Holt will appear throughout the two hours each night of the debate, while the other four moderators will each get an hour a night. Guthrie and Díaz-Balart will moderate the first hour; Todd and Maddow the second.