The "NBC News - YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate" on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center Theatre in Charleston, SC. Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee and NBC have reached an agreement to evenly split the top qualifying candidates over 2 nights for the first 2020 Democratic primary debate in June, reports Politico.

The bottom line: The DNC wants to avoid featuring a "kiddie table," by spreading the most popular contenders across the 2 nights, addressing a problem Republicans ran into in 2016, per Politico. The decision also aims to maintain viewer interest by guaranteeing well-known contenders are debating on both nights.

How it works: The rule says: "the final list of debate participants (after any tie-breaking procedure is executed, if necessary) will be divided into two groups: candidates with a polling average of 2% or above, and those with a polling average below 2%. Both groups will be randomly divided between Wednesday night and Thursday night thus ensuring that both groups are represented fairly on each night," per Politico.

Candidates polling at 2% or more:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Sen. Cory Booker
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Beto O'Rourke

Go deeper: Which 2020 candidates have qualified for the debates

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Misinformation thrives on social media ahead of presidential debate

Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sept. 27. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

A baseless conspiracy theory that Joe Biden would wear an electronic device in his ear during the first presidential debate on Tuesday went viral on social media hours before the event.

Why it matters: The conspiracy originated on social media before appearing in a text message sent by President Trump’s re-election campaign to supporters. It was then regurgitated by media outlets like Fox News and New York Post, who cited the Trump campaign, throughout the day, according to NBC News.

Appeals court upholds six-day extension for counting Wisconsin ballots

Photo: Derek R. Henkle/AFP via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that extended the deadline for counting mail-in ballots in Wisconsin until Nov. 9 as long as they are postmarked by the Nov. 3 election, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's a big win for Democrats that also means that the winner of Wisconsin, a key presidential swing state, may not be known for six days after the election. Republicans are likely to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, as the Pennsylvania GOP did after a similar ruling on Monday.

Go deeper: How the Supreme Court could decide the election

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 33,489,205 — Total deaths: 1,004,278 — Total recoveries: 23,243,613Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m ET: 7,183,367 — Total deaths: 205,883 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  7. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic