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Only Seven Democratic Candidates Have Qualified for Third Debate

Only Seven Democratic Candidates Have Qualified for Third Debate

Three other candidates are right on the edge.

The 2020 Democratic primary has over twenty candidates, which has led to two nights of debates in June and July with ten candidates each night.

Chaos has ensued in those two debates. This may not happen in the third debate since only seven candidates have qualified so far.

The third debate will take place on September 12 and 13 in Houston, TX. If only ten candidates qualify then only one debate will happen.

The New York Times did not say what would happen if 12 or 13 candidates reach the threshold.

Due to the overflow of candidates, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) changed the requirements for each debate. The candidates must have 130,000 unique donors and reach 2% in four polls to participate in the third debate.

These candidates have qualified:

  • Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
  • Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.
  • Senator Kamala Harris of California
  • Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas
  • Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Three other candidates may meet the requirements in time: “The former housing secretary Julián Castro and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang have surpassed 130,000 donations and each have three of the four qualifying polls they need, while Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has met the polling threshold and has about 120,000 donors.”

Activist Tom Steyer has two polls while Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper have one poll. The requirements may impede the others:

Beyond them, only three candidates have even a single qualifying poll to their name: the impeachment activist Tom Steyer (2 polls), Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (1) and former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado (1).

We asked all three of their campaigns to provide donor numbers so we could assess where they stood. Ms. Gabbard had just under 114,000 donors as of Wednesday night. A spokesman for Mr. Steyer said he was “on track to collect the required number of donors to make the September debate stage” but did not give a number. Mr. Hickenlooper’s campaign did not respond, but Politico reported a month ago that he had only 13,000 donors.

The other 11 candidates in the race have no qualifying polls to their name, and they all went into this week’s debates seeking a viral moment that would attract new donors and lift them, even briefly, in the polls.

Candidates have received boosts in polls after the two debates, but they must have 2% on August 28.

Yang may have already qualified. He tweeted on Monday that he met the polling and donor requirements. The DNC sent out an email on Tuesday to all campaigns that polls do not count if sponsored by the same organization.

Yang received 2% in two polls from NBC. The email said that the “[C]andidates may only count one NBC-sponsored national poll released during the current qualification period.”

The new rules state that if the same organization sponsored more than one poll it will count if the research took place “in different geographical areas.”

One poll did not specify the locations of the respondents, but the second one concentrated only on southern states.


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It seems ironic that half the Dimocrat candidates can’t qualify for the Dimocrat’s own debates, but they think they’re qualified to be President.

I’m sure they are trying to use the debates to pull off their own Trump miracle but you need a Trump to succeed. None of these candidates have corralled the zeitgeist that Trump did with the American voters. Being the only comfortable and authentic-sounding candidate at the debates stealing the show, he would tweet immediately afterwards to get heads exploding and then run off to speak at a wildly enthusiastic rally. No time to rest, assess his performance with “image experts” or rehearse any adjustments. Just Trump being Trump speaking extemporaneously. You can’t fake that.

2smartforlibs | August 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

How about this bit of trivia. That just happens to be the very people Morning Consult says are the top 7 contenders. The only one polling above ” any other Candidate”

Again, the last thing in the world the Democrats are is democratic.

Morning Sunshine | August 1, 2019 at 12:40 pm

no Williamson? I will be sad. The more the merrier.

on the other hand, fewer will be more likely to turn it into a blood sport. I think the political class learned the wrong lesson from Trump – it is not his hard hitting or catchy nicknames or outsider-status that made people like him. But that seems to be what everyone wants to copy.

The debates are to determine VP nomination. The VP nom will go to female or Black. Butti is white gay…sorry even if submissive/receptive part of a gay marriage ..not enough. Like with Bob Dole, the party will go with the person that has “earned” the position. Booker came out with “Sparticus” whom Marx revered….but male. Biden-Harris 2020. If Harris can prove bi-sexual chops then even more a shoe in.I

The only question for Dems is whether President Harris is ready in the wings when Biden crosses cognitive disability threshold.

Since the Dem Central Committee controls a Dem prez, figurehead are only needed in reality.

    alaskabob in reply to alaskabob. | August 1, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Harris has only one uber-candidate….Michelle O.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to alaskabob. | August 1, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I don’t think that was the case with Crooked Hillary. The Clintons appeared to have controlled the DNC fairly thoroughly, with their control over its funding. They essentially kept it on a starvation diet, so that it would be biddable.

    The interesting aspect here is that if the DNC can be shown to have been captured by the Clintons, then their scheme of laundering money through state parties, the DNC, and thence to Clinton would collapse, exposing a number of their larger donors to liability for campaign finance violations, and making the Clinton campaign possibly criminally vulnerable. The formal FEC complaint has been pending for some time at the FEC, which was intentionally being kept under strength by the Senate Dems, by their refusing to nominate a replacement for one of their commissioners, presumably so that that complaint is not formally investigated.

With so many candidates, the debate format doesn’t really hold up. They’d have been better served to hold a round table and talk a single issue with equal time per participant. Instead it’s a dog and pony show of personalities where the issues aren’t really debated. The few voices that have cried for moderation and cautioned that single-payer and open-borders are a train-wreck have been drowned out because of personality / low-polling.

The dems have made issues secondary to personality. Seems clear that the dems don’t know who they are nor have the interests of their constituents at heart.

Nah I think they are going to sink Uncle Joe in the final lead up. The match-up they are shooting for is Warren-Harris.

Christopher B | August 1, 2019 at 2:18 pm

It won’t be as much fun as keeping Marianne on the island but I might spare a few bucks for Klouchbar and Hickenlooper just to keep them in the game.

Let the lawsuits begin.

Democrat full employment program: more lawyers, more litigation. Best part: you get to pay for it.

The others are not viable and have been planned, fortunately not Planned.

I’ll miss Kirsten the Barmaid as she tries to out-pander Skateboard Beto as they fight their way to the bottom.

Mark Michael | August 2, 2019 at 5:55 pm

I hope Rep. Tulsi Gabbard manages to qualify. She would add what Prof. Jacobson might call the prospect for some fireworks to the debate – along with some beauty (self-evident to say). It looks like she needs 3 major polls to get her above 1% before the deadline. (Looks bad for the Tulsi Team. Oh, well.)