DNC toughens qualification criteria for December debate
August 29, 2020
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday announced tougher criteria for the sixth primary debate set to take place in December, a move that is likely to further winnow the field of presidential candidates who will be on stage.
To qualify for the Dec. 19 debate, White House hopefuls must meet one of two polling thresholds: 4 percent support in at least four polls, either national surveys or statewide polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada; or 6 percent support in two single-state surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.
The new standards exceed the polling criteria for the November debate, which required candidates register at least 3 percent in four or more qualifying polls or 5 percent in two single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.
Qualifying polls for December must be sponsored by one of 16 designated media and polling entities and meet other specific criteria, including release dates between Oct. 16 and Dec. 12.
In addition, candidates must receive contributions from at least 200,000 unique donors, as well as a minimum of 800 unique donors per state in at least 20 states, U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.
The criteria for the November debate requires candidates amass support from at least 165,000 unique donors, including a minimum of 600 donors per state in at least 20 states.
The qualifying deadline for the December debate is Dec. 12.
The DNC also announced that PBS Newshour and Politico will be co-hosting the December debate. The DNC has gradually tightened its criteria for the debates, requiring candidates to demonstrate wider support to make it to the stage. The first two debates, in June and July, featured 20 candidates each spread across four nights. But only 10 candidates made it to the September debate, while 12 made it to this month’s debate after the polling and fundraising criteria were tightened. So far, nine candidates have qualified for the November debate: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, finance executive Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE, businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.). Failure to qualify for the debates has contributed to the decision by some candidates to drop out of the race, because absence from the stages took away chances to introduce themselves to primary voters and further hurt their fundraising. Earlier this year, more than two dozen contenders were in the race, one of the largest fields ever. There are now 18 candidates. Among those who have dropped out are New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioProtesters splash red paint on NYC streets to symbolize blood De Blasio: Robert E Lee’s ‘name should be taken off everything in America, period’ House Democratic whip pushes back on calls to defund police: We need to focus on reform MORE, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.), and most recently, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanMinnesota AG Keith Ellison says racism is a bigger problem than police behavior; 21 states see uptick in cases amid efforts to reopen Congress must fill the leadership void Pelosi pushes to unite party on coronavirus bill despite grumbling from left MORE (D-Ohio). — Updated at 11:03 a.m.