Here’s what it takes to qualify for the June 27 CNN presidential debate

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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The stage is set for the first in-person showdown of the 2024 election cycle between President Joe Biden and his opponent and predecessor, Donald Trump.

Both candidates have accepted an invitation from CNN to debate on June 27 in the network’s Atlanta studios. Some aspects – including the lack of a studio audience – will be a departure from previous debates.

CNN has set several parameters for candidates to qualify for the debate, which will be hosted by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

All participating debaters must meet the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution to serve as president. Both Biden and Trump meet those requirements, as do Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein, who are running on non-major-party tickets.

Participants must file a formal statement of candidacy to the Federal Election Commission. All five have done so.

Candidates must also appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency and receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards for reporting. Polls that meet those standards are those sponsored by CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College, Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Biden and Trump will meet those requirements, but they make the others less likely to be able to participate - though, in Kennedy’s case, it’s not an impossibility.

Kennedy is on the ballot in only five states, though the campaign says it has gathered enough signatures to make it on the ballots of several more. West’s campaign says he has secured ballot access for six states.

Kennedy has been averaging about 13% in recent national polling. West and Stein have been averaging at about 3%.

Debaters must also agree to accept the rules and format of the debate. Trump and Biden have agreed to do so.

Both Trump and Biden have also agreed to participate in another debate hosted by ABC on September 10.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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