Candidate placement during first democratic debate

What order are the 20 democratic candidates who qualified to participate in the first democratic debate of the primary season going to appear on stage?

On the first night, June 26, 2019, candidates will be arranged as shown here in this graphic created by NBC News. From the viewers’ left to right, the placements will be: Bill de Blasio, Tim Ryan, Julián Castro, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee and John Delaney.

The second night will use this layout. Again, from the viewers’ left to right, the order will be Marianne Williamson, John Hickenlooper, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet and Eric Swalwell.

According to NBC, the placement of candidates on stage is determined by polling data, though specific details were not immediately announced.

  • Earlier this year, to select which candidates would appear on which night, NBC created two pools — one with candidates polling at or above 2% as of Wednesday, June 12 and one polling below that.
  • An NBC standards and practices representative then drew names at random from each pool to create the lineup for each night.
  • This was done prevent more popular candidates from being grouped all on one night.
  • To determine the placement of candidates, NBC relied on additional polling data that appears to have placed the highest polling candidates in the center near each other — while lower polling candidates will be farther out.
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