Only 8 Democrats Have Qualified for Next Presidential Debate

Only 8 of the more than 20 Democrats running for president have qualified for the next debate, which could force many of the lower-polling candidates out of the race.

The Democratic National Committee required candidates to hit at least 1% in three qualifying national polls and garner at least 65,000 unique donors to make the stage at the first two debates but is raising the threshold for the next debate, which is scheduled for September 12 in Houston.

Candidates will need to have at least 2% in four qualifying polls and at least 130,000 individual donors to qualify for the September debate.

Only eight candidates have met both thresholds, according to The New York Times.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke have already qualified. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Thursday that she too has reached both thresholds.

Only two other candidates close to hitting both requirements:

Only former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and entrepreneur Andrew Yang are close to hitting both thresholds. Both candidates have more than 130,000 donors and both have three qualifying polls that put them at 2%. Yang believed that he had reached the polling threshold to qualify for the next debate but the DNC rejected one of the polls he submitted.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard told The New York Times she had over 128,000 donors but only one qualifying poll has her at 2%. Billionaire impeachment activist Tom Steyer has 2% in two qualifying polls and claimed to the Times that he is “on track” to hit the required number of donors to make the debate. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has one qualifying poll showing him at 2% but it’s unclear how many donors he has. Last month Politico reported that he has only 13,000 donors.

The candidates have until August 28 to meet both requirements. If 10 or fewer candidates qualify, there will only be one debate instead of two, according to the Times.


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