2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang boasted on Twitter the other day that polls showed he had 2% of support to qualify for the September debates.

The DNC slapped down Yang’s enthusiasm when officials said two of the polls qualify as only one since NBC sponsored both.

The Democratic has over 20 candidates, which has caused problems for the DNC. Chairman Tom Perez decided to change the qualifications for the candidates to qualify for debates.

Candidates can take part in the third debate in September “only by reaching 2% in four approved polls released between June 28 and Aug. 28 while also collecting contributions from a minimum of 130,000 unique donors before Aug. 28.” Each candidate must have “a minimum of 400 individuals in at least 20 states.”

Yang tweeted yesterday:

Yang also reached the fundraising requirements.

The Hill obtained an email sent by DNC senior advisor Mary Beth Cahill to all campaigns that said the NBC/The Wall Street Journal poll from July and the NBC/Survey Monkey poll from July 19 only counts as one poll since NBC sponsored both:

“Candidates may only count one NBC-sponsored national poll released during the current qualification period,” DNC senior adviser Mary Beth Cahill said in the email, which was also sent to the Yang campaign.

“A particularly important rule in our debate framework is the requirement that candidates’ initial qualifying poll be conducted by different sponsors, or if by the same sponsor, in different geographies,” she wrote. “The intent of this rule is to avoid scenarios in which a single poll sponsor or media outlet is responsible for qualifying a candidate through multiple sets of results in the same geography.”

Spokeswoman Adrienne Watson confirmed officials sent out the email. She referred The Hill to the new DNC rules. However, the rules only say polls can qualify from the same organization if taken “in different geographical areas.” From Democrats.org:

The qualification criteria for the September debate will also remain in place for October’s DNC-sanctioned debate. To qualify for the September and October debates, candidates must meet both the Polling Threshold and the Grassroots Fundraising Threshold, as detailed below:

1. Polling Threshold. Candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four polls (which may be national polls, or polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada) meeting the following criteria (“Qualifying Poll Criteria”):

Each poll must be sponsored by an approved organization, which presently includes the following: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Winthrop University. Any candidate’s four qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas. The DNC and its media partners reserve the right to add a Nevada-specific poll sponsor to this list in the near future.

The July 11 poll did not specify the residency of the respondents. It only noted that the pollsters spoke to 800 total registered voters reached mostly by cellphone.

The July 19 poll concentrated on people in southern states. Thisincluded Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. In total, the poll reached out to 4,869 people over 18-years-old. Of those, 4,203 of the respondents are registered voters.

Yang’s campaign immediately lashed out against the DNC:

“By the DNC’s own rules, the Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Fox News, and Quinnipiac are all approved organizations, and thus Andrew Yang has qualified for the fall debates. We disagree with the DNC decision and are disappointed with the ruling,” Yang’s campaign manger Zach Graumann said in a statement to The Hill that was later sent out publicly.

“It is frustrating to see the rules be changed mid-game, but our campaign has overcome every obstacle placed in our path, and we will continue to upset the establishment well into 2020,” the statement added.

This latest fiasco has added frustration with Yang over the DNC. The entrepreneur and author Marianne Williamson claimed the NBC moderators in the first debate cut off their microphones. NBC and the moderators insisted they did not do anything to either one.

Yang may not face any problems tonight in the second night of the second round of debates in Detroit, MI. The CNN moderators did their best to keep the candidates within the allotted speaking time and stopped interruptions. Williamson appeared to have more speaking time yesterday on the stage.


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