First 10 Democratic candidates take the debate stage in Miami

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 26, 2019: The first Democratic presidential primary debate of the 2020 election will take place in Miami, Florida. The Trump campaign is sending surrogates to battleground states to respond to the debate.


The first set of 10 Democratic presidential candidates will take the debate stageWednesday night in Miami, Florida. José Diaz-Balart, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Rachel Maddow, and Chuck Todd will moderate the debate.

Tune in to NBC News, MSNBC, or Telemundo at 9 PM ET to watch the event live. You can also stream the debate via, the NBC News apps, Telemundo, or YouTube.


Notable Quote of the Day

“What about the Puerto Rican vote? They’re not going to forget that this administration abandoned them during Maria. But they won’t be giving their vote away for free. What about the 72,000 Venezuelans who could benefit from TPS? … And I don’t see how we can have a debate in Miami and not talk about U.S.-Cuba policy.

Latinos are still seen as a monolith. Politicians as a whole still don’t get it, and that’s a problem.”

–  Liz Alarcon, Project Pulso director


  • The FEC’s second quarter fundraising deadline is June 30. Fundraising figures are key to qualifying for the next presidential debate and showing campaign health. Expect presidential candidates to make last-minute drives for donations and one-liner quips in the debates to repurpose for fundraising.
  • Michael Bennet discussed U.S.-China relations and his experience as a city school district superintendent and a member of the Gang of Eight bipartisan immigration group in an interview on WBUR’s Here & Now
  • The Washington Post reported on Joe Biden’s assets, including money earned from speaking engagements worth up to $200,000 each, a $2.7 million vacation home, and an $8 million book deal.
  • Bill de Blasio shared how he was preparing for the debate—mock sessions and question drills—along with several other 2020 presidential candidates in an NBC News article.
  • Cory Booker will attend a fundraiser hosted by New Jersey power brokers Joseph DiVincenzo and George Norcross Friday. The New York Times also interviewedBooker about his campaign.
  • Steve Bullock will participate in a locally televised town hall in Des Moines, Iowa, and take questions from online viewers. 
  • ABC News reported on Pete Buttigieg’s trips to Afghanistan and Iraq as a McKinsey consultant prior to his military deployment.
  • In an interview with Religion NewsJulián Castro spoke of his Catholic upbringing, the relationship between religion and policy, and hate crimes.
  • PredictIt is hosting a “shareholder call” with John Delaney about his presidential campaign.
  • Tulsi Gabbard is expected to focus on her opposition to regime change wars and conflict in the Middle East during the debate, according to a Hawaii Tribune-Heraldreport. 
  • The Mike Gravel campaign tweeted that Gravel needs two more polls to qualify for the second presidential debate.
  • Kamala Harris will introduce a bicameral version of the Accountability for Wall Street Executives Act, which would allow state law enforcement oversight of national banks regarding compliance with state law. Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren are also backing the bill.
  • John Hickenlooper discussed his debate strategy in an interview on CNN.
  • The Atlantic reported that Jay Inslee will expand his presidential campaign theme from climate change to his experience as a governor during the presidential debate. 
  • Amy Klobuchar is bringing Nicole Smith-Holt and Shelly Elkington—two Minnesota mothers who lost their adult children to insulin and opioids, respectively—to the first debate.
  • In an op-ed in FortuneWayne Messam wrote that campaign finance laws and inequitable media coverage affected his ability to qualify for the first presidential debate.
  • Seth Moulton will make several media appearances across Miami, including interviews on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN.
  • In an interview with The RootBeto O’Rourke said that Americans need to better understand the history and repercussions of slavery before the government could consider reparations.
  • Tim Ryan discussed his shift on abortion policy in 2015 and gun policy after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in an interview on CNN.
  • Bernie Sanders wrote an op-ed in Foreign Affairs, calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and defining climate change and global inequality as security threats.
  • National Interest interviewed Joe Sestak about his foreign relations and military policy positions.
  • Eric Swalwell, along with 14 other candidates, has pledged to seek gender parityin his senior-level national security appointments.
  • Warren issued an election security policy to standardize federal election rules, mandate automatic voter registration, and ban election roll purges.
  • The Marianne Williamson campaign sent a press release Tuesday seeking to redefine the candidate as an author and activist rather than a spiritual guru or adviser to Oprah Winfrey.
  • Slate profiled Andrew Yang and his experience building a test prep company and the nonprofit Venture for America.


  • More than four dozen surrogates for Donald Trump will make media appearances in battleground state markets during and after the Democratic presidential primary debate. 
  • Bill Weld appeared in an interview on Concord News Radio in New Hampshire.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court held that same-sex marriage was protected under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The 2016 presidential candidates reacted with tweets and public statements ranging from praise to condemnation.