“ABC News, in partnership with Univision, will host the third Democratic presidential debate in September, the Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday, saying it was raising both the polling and fundraising bars for candidates to qualify,” Politico reports.
“The debate is set for Sept. 12 and could extend to a second night, Sept. 13, if enough candidates meet the threshold to participate.”
“But it will be more difficult for the nearly two dozen 2020 Democratic hopefuls to make the stage. Unlike the first and second rounds of debates, when candidates must cross either a donor or polling threshold to qualify, candidates will need to surpass both bars to make the stage for the third and fourth debates.
For the September event, candidates will have to hit 2 percent in four qualifying polls, versus 1 percent in three polls for the first debates, and they will need 130,000 individual donors, up from 65,000.”
So you made it through the second set of Democratic debates. Congratulations! Ready to talk about the next ones?
The Democratic National Committee has set stricter criteria for the third set of debates, which will be held on Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 in Houston. If 10 or fewer candidates qualify, the debate will take place on only one night.
[The race is fluid, and other things we learned from the July Democratic debates.]
Candidates will need to have 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent support in four polls.
They have until Aug. 28 to reach those benchmarks.
These criteria could easily halve the field: The first two sets of debates included 20 of the 24 candidates, but a New York Times analysis of polls and donor numbers shows that only 10 to 12 candidates are likely to make the third round.
[When will the Democratic field start to shrink?]
Seven candidates have (already) met both qualification thresholds and are (guaranteed) a spot on stage. They are:
• 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 are very close: 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.
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.
The qualification rules do not require enduring support. Even a small post-debate surge could push a 1 percent candidate up to 2 percent in the small handful of polls he or she needs.
But for those who have not qualified, the Aug. 28 deadline is an existential threat. Candidates like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York or Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington could be washed out of the race if they don’t get momentum from this week’s debates. And if you’re wondering whether they’re anxious, the answer is yes.
Ms. Gabbard’s campaign calculated at one point that she needed a new donor every minute to reach 130,000 by the Aug. 28 deadline, so if you go to her website, a timer next to the donation button begins counting down 60 seconds. Then the text changes.
“🙁 Oh no!” it says. “The time expired and you didn’t donate!”
Tulsi has reached 138,900 donors, she was at 108,000 on July 29th. She is getting eligible for the third debate.
Heard something today that neither Carter or Clinton would have qualified for the debates using the rules we have today. Holding debates before Iowa gives the early front runners a huge advantage.
Eight candidates have (already) met both qualification thresholds and are guaranteed a spot onstage. They are:
•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
•Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
•Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas
•Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
•Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Ms. Klobuchar’s campaign announced on Friday that she had exceeded the required number of donors in the days following the debate. She had already met the polling threshold.
Two other candidates are very close: The former housing secretary Julián Castro and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang have surpassed 130,000 donors and each have three of the four qualifying polls they need. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has also crossed the 130,000-donor mark, her campaign said Friday, but she has only one qualifying poll so far.