Washington (AFP) - The Democratic Party on Friday announced its line-ups for the debut debate of the 2020 presidential cycle -- a crowded, two-night affair that will see frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders square off in a highly-anticipated match-up.
Twenty Democrats will take the stage on June 26 and 27 in Miami -- in two groups of 10 -- as they battle to become the nominee who will challenge President Donald Trump for the White House next year.
Former US vice president Biden, the unequivocal frontrunner, and liberal senator Sanders, who is polling in second place, will be among 10 candidates on the same stage on the second night.
They will be joined by Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana mayor who has surged from obscurity into fourth place in early polling, and fifth place Senator Kamala Harris, who launched her campaign to strong buzz but who has struggled to maintain momentum.
That leaves liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is polling in third place and whose star has risen in recent weeks, as the clear headliner on the first night.
Her primary rivals on stage will be former congressman Beto O'Rourke, who earned a national spotlight during his run for the Senate last year in Texas, and Senator Cory Booker, who along with Harris is one of two African-Americans in the race.
Once the schedule was made public, Twitter lit up with posts by candidates including Warren, who said she was "looking forward" to the opportunity to "discuss my plans for big, structural change in this country."