This may be a sign that the lower tier 2020 Democratic presidential candidates should drop out.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced the criteria for the fifth debate in November. Key point: We still do not know the date of the November debate or where it will take place.

From Politico:

Candidates will need to clear 3 percent in four DNC-approved polls, up from the 2 percent required to qualify for the September and October debates. But the committee also created an additional early-state path to qualify: garnering 5 percent in two approved polls conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina.

Additionally, candidates now need to receive donations from 165,000 unique donors — up from 130,000 from the September and October debates — with 600 unique donors in 20 different states, territories or the District of Columbia.

The DNC has largely left the existing tests for the candidates in place, with only slightly higher bars for them to clear. For the main, 3-percent threshold, candidates still cannot count polls released by the same sponsor in the same geographical area twice. But under the higher, 5-percent path in the early states, candidates can repeat polls from the same sponsor in the same geographical area, a nod to the infrequency of early-state polls.

Polls must be released between Sept. 13 and seven days before the November debate — the timing or location of which has not yet been announced — to count toward qualification. The list of approved poll sponsors was tweaked slightly to specify news organizations that have polling partnerships. For example, NBC News’ partnerships with The Wall Street Journal and Marist College are included, but now excluded would be any NBC News/SurveyMonkey polls that counted toward the third and fourth debates.

The field has 19 candidates. The New York Times reported that 11 of those candidates met the 165,000-donor threshold.

The October debate will have 11 candidates on stage. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) needs to have the numbers in one more qualifying poll to appear in the debate.

The new rule will likely not affect Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). It may also not harm Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) or South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Those five candidates may qualify as soon as Tuesday. They reached 5% in the Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa poll on Saturday. Monmouth University will release its poll “conducted in New Hampshire” on Tuesday.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Robert O’Rourke, and Andrew Yang have hit “3 percent in at least one of the three-DNC-approved polls that count for the November debate released thus far.”

Julian Castro, Tom Steyer, and Gabbard have not reached 3% in any of those polls.


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