Presidential Primaries to Feature New Debate Format, NLIHC Works to Keep Affordable Housing on the Agenda

The 2020 primary season is well underway, and several politicians have already announced their intention to run to be the Democratic candidate for president. To give as many candidates as possible the opportunity to be heard, the Democratic National Committee is preparing to host its first two primary debates in June and July with a new debate format. Affordable housing is already a significant issue on the campaign trail, and NLIHC will continue working to keep it at the top of all candidates’ agendas on the campaign trail, at the debates and beyond.

Given the large number of candidates, the first two primary debates will follow a non-traditional format. The debates will be held on two consecutive nights and will accommodate 10 candidates each (for a total of no more than 20). The debates will be televised and live-streamed.

To qualify to participate in the debates, a candidate must garner at least 1% support in three separate polls and meet a grassroots fundraising target of at least 65,000 unique donors and at least 200 donors per state. If more than 20 candidates meet that threshold, candidates will be selected mostly by polling.

Additional debates are scheduled for September, October, November and December of 2019 and January, February, March and April of 2020.

NLIHC will look for opportunities to ensure candidates tell voters during and between the primary debates how they would address the nation’s serious need for affordable housing, especially for the lowest-income people - seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and others. For more on NLIHC’s voter engagement work—including ideas for engaging candidates—visit Our Homes, Our Votes