Bernie Sanders
**FILE** Bernie Sanders (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will occupy center stage Wednesday while former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have earned a similar place Thursday as many of the 24 candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination debate over two days in Miami.

The positions are determined by current poll numbers and there’s wide belief that candidates occupying the center generally receive more airtime.

On the first night, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey will be next to Warren, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will be next to O’Rourke, according to CNN.

“On the second night, which is more heavily weighted with candidates who are polling better nationally and in the early-primary states, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be standing next to Biden, while Sen. Kamala Harris of California is next to Sanders,” CNN reported.

The lineup for both nights are as follows:

Wednesday, June 26

Bill de Blasio

Tim Ryan

Julian Castro

Cory Booker

Elizabeth Warren

Beto O’Rourke

Amy Klobuchar

Tulsi Gabbard

Jay Inslee

John Delaney

Thursday, June 27

Marianne Williamson

John Hickenlooper

Andrew Yang

Pete Buttigieg

Joe Biden

Bernie Sanders

Kamala Harris

Kirsten Gillibrand

Michael Bennet

Eric Swalwell

To qualify, candidates had to meet one of two different minimums at least two weeks prior – either receiving campaign contributions from at least 65,000 different individuals or achieving 1 percent in three separate polls from news and polling organizations approved by the Democratic National Committee.

Every major newspaper and news organization in the country has touted the importance of the Black vote for the crucial 2020 presidential election.

With many of the candidates openly courting the Black vote and identifying reparations for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the debates could further flush out their respective platforms.

Sanders, who lost the Democratic nomination to Hilary Clinton in 2016, has cited the Black vote as crucial. In a campaign memo earlier this year, Sanders’ team noted the 86-14 percent margin he lost the Black vote to Clinton in the state of South Carolina.

“We thought we could do respectably in South Carolina, and we got decimated,” Sanders said.

“This is our revolution,” said Sanders, who will speak during the NNPA Convention at The Westin Cincinnati Hotel on June 28.

In a poll commissioned by The Black Economic Alliance and conducted by Hart Research and Brossard Research, Sanders currently trails front-runner Biden among Black voters.

The poll, which measured how enthusiastic Black voters are about the Democratic presidential candidates, showed that 76 percent of respondents said they were most enthusiastic about Biden, while 64 percent said they were most enthusiastic about Sanders, who finished ahead of Harris (53 percent) and Booker (43 percent).

African Americans surveyed said affordable health care, college and the creation of more jobs with good benefits were most important.

“The path to economic security is rocky for families in America but that path is even rockier for Black families who have stared down decades of government sponsored discrimination and institutional racism,” Warren said in an email.

“This campaign is about making our government and our economy work for everyone and Black Americans will be on the frontlines of that conversation. The Black Press of America and its journalists are an integral part of how we make our democracy work,” Warren said.

O’Rourke’s campaign said it’s important for him to engage the Black community.

“Beto believes we cannot just pay lip service to the problems faced by communities and towns often forgotten or written off, but that we must also listen to their ideas and welcome them to be a part of the solution,” his campaign said in a statement. “That’s how he served in Congress and it’s how he has been running his campaign — making sure no person, no group, no constituency is taken for granted.”

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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