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Presidential debate season is almost here, with 23 contenders hoping to make it to primetime. The Democratic National Committee has plans for 12 debates — six this year, six next year.

The first primary debate will air on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo over two nights, June 26 and 27. So far, 19 candidates qualify, which means they have at least 1 percent support in three qualifying polls, or provide evidence of at least 65,000 individual donations from a minimum of 200 different donors in at least 20 states.

The second debate, with the same qualifications for entry, will be on CNN on July 30 and 31.

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And, as announced this week, the third debate will be on Sept. 12 and 13 on ABC and Univision. The qualifications are tighter for those wanting to participate in this one: A candidate will need to either have at least 2 percent support in three qualifying polls, or provide evidence of at least 130,000 individual donations from a minimum of 400 different donors in at least 20 states.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.