Media

NBC Announces Presidential Debate Moderators

HEMPSTEAD, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Moderator Lester Holt speaks ahead of the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mike Brest Reporter

NBC announced the five moderators for the first two Democratic presidential town halls scheduled two weeks from Wednesday and Thursday.

Co-anchor of “TODAY” Savannah Guthrie, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, moderator of “Meet the Press” and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and “Noticias Telemundo” anchor José Diaz-Balart will moderate the debates in Miami, Florida, on June 26 and 27, NBC News announced Tuesday.

Each two-hour debate with a maximum of ten candidates per night will feature Holt as the only moderator, who will be present from start to finish. Guthrie and Diaz-Balart will be alongside Holt for the first hour and then be replaced by Todd and Maddow, according to NBC News.

In order to secure a spot in the debate, candidates must either receive donations from at least 65,000 unique donors (with a minimum of 200 donors in more than 19 states) or receive at least 1% support in three DNC-approved polls.

LAS VEGAS, NV, Dec 15, 2015, Empty Podiums at the CNN Republican presidential debate at The Venetian Resort and Casino (Shutterstock)

LAS VEGAS, NV, Dec 15, 2015, Empty Podiums at the CNN Republican presidential debate at The Venetian Resort and Casino (Shutterstock)

As of Tuesday, 14 presidential candidates have reached both thresholds, essentially guaranteeing them a spot. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was the most recent candidate to reach both markers, doing so over the week. Six other candidates have reached the polling requirement but not the donations. (RELATED: 2020 Democrats Private Woo Wall Street While Publicly Snubbing Corporate Cash)

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock believed he had reached the polling requirement until the Democratic National Committee voided a poll in which he received the requisite percentage for it to count.

Should he or any other candidate reach a marker before the Wednesday deadline, it would force a tiebreaker to settle the remaining slots left after accounting for the candidates who hit both markers. Those spots will go to whoever has the highest polling average until they reach the 20-candidate capacity.

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