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Big-Money Donors Like Buttigieg, Harris, Biden

Big-Money Donors Like Buttigieg, Harris, Biden

The last such debate lottery, hosted by NBC News, had been held off-screen.

The 20 candidates who qualified for the debate stage, based on rules outlined by the Democratic National Convention were: Colorado Sen.

It will be "Biden and Harris Round 2" at the second Democratic debates. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Colorado Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be on stage together for the first time, while upstart South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be trying to continue his improbable rise. If a candidate does not hit both benchmarks, they will be off the stage.

The lineups for each night were announced on air during a live, random draw for transparency around the event. CNN and the DNC said they chose to establish three groupings "to ensure support for the candidates is evenly spread across both nights". Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, Vermont Sen. That will make for odd optics on Night One and also potentially creates a hard position for Biden, given the exchange over school integration in the first debate.

The unusual fanfare reflects the significant public interest in the first round in Miami in June, when nearly 18.1 million Americans tuned in for the second night, a record television audience for a Democratic primary debate.

Biden, meanwhile, was given the opportunity to debate Sen. Biden, Buttigieg, and Harris have secured most of those donations.

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Sanders and Warren - who are reportedly longtime friends - will finally square off head-to-head in a battle for each other's supporters, as the two try to consolidate support from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Sanders will appear with his friend and ally Warren, who could very well play up their agreements and leave it to viewers to decide who they believe is a more imposing general election prospect.

Buttigieg and O'Rourke on the same stage also offers a unique match up. Compare that to O'Rourke, who raised $9.4 million in the first 18 days of his campaign but only raised $3.6 million in the second quarter. The Warren-Sanders matchup is also likely to draw attention as its the first time the two liberal firebrands will debate. She also saw some of her highest poll numbers since the start of the cycle, with 20% support in a Quinnipiac national poll conducted right after the debates and 23% support in a Quinnipiac California poll released Monday.

Major candidates left off the stage include Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam.

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer - the most recent candidate to enter the race - did not make the debate.