Closing The Gap

An all-female panel will moderate November's Democratic debate for MSNBC

Rachel Maddow on Tuesday, October 2, 2019
NBC | NBCUniversal | Getty Images

The next Democratic presidential primary debate will be held next month in Georgia with a panel of four female journalists moderating the conversation, MSNBC announced on Wednesday.

Rachel Maddow, who moderated the debate in June, will be joined by Andrea Mitchell, host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" on MSNBC; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post. The debate, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 20 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET, will be an hour shorter than the three-hour debate that took place in October.

Mitchell, who also serves as NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent, tweeted out her excitement about the news and said she's "thrilled to be part of this team."

November's debate, which is co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, will likely include fewer candidates than the 12 who participated in October's debate. Right now, according to The New York Times, only nine candidates have qualified to debate in November.

To make the cut, MSNBC says each candidate has to receive monetary contributions from 165,000 unique donors, including 600 unique donors in 20 states. Candidates also have to receive at least 3% of voter support in early nominating states or national polls, or they have to receive at least 5% of support in two qualifying state polls.

So far, Vice President Joe Biden; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; California Sen. Kamala Harris; billionaire Tom Steyer; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar have all qualified for the next debate. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former Housing Secretary Julián Castro have until Nov. 13 to meet the necessary qualifications.

November's debate will not be the first presidential event to feature a lineup of women moderators. In January 2016, Trish Regan and Sandra Smith moderated one of two Republican presidential debates. And in February 2016, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff moderated a Democratic debate.

According to The New York Times, only four women have been the sole moderator of a general election presidential debate. These women include Pauline Frederick in 1976, Barbara Walters in 1976 and 1984, Carole Simpson in 1992 and Candy Crowley in 2012.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of MSNBC and CNBC.

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