DNC announces next debate qualifications — which could box out 3 of last night’s candidates

DNC announces next debate qualifications — which could box out 3 of last night’s candidates
Image via Screengrab / PBS.

The Democratic National Committee has just released the list of qualifications Democratic presidential candidates will have to meet in order to appear in the next debate. Those qualifications could eliminate three of last night’s seven candidates.


The new, higher bar means candidates must have “at least 5 percent support in four qualifying polls, or 7 percent in two early-state polls,” according to The New York Times, along with other donor requirements.

That means Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg are the only ones who currently meet the new requirements. And Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang, who participated in Thursday night’s debate, currently do not qualify. They would have until January 10 to do so, which is just weeks away and includes two major national holidays when Americans are focused on other issues and political activity tends to slow down.

Some have noted that for a party built on African American and women voters, having no candidates of color and just one woman on stage would be problematic.

The announcement “came despite intense public and private lobbying from Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and his allies to lower the barrier to participate in the party’s debates, a cause that gained momentum after just one person of color, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, qualified for Thursday’s debate in Los Angeles.”

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