When CNN telecasts the next Democratic presidential debate in October, 10 or more candidates are likely to qualify and make it to the stage. But based the Democratic National Committee’s new qualifying criteria announced Monday, it’s the November debate that is very likely to feature a pared down set of contenders.
That’s because the DNC’s new threshold will be difficult for many of the candidates to meet.
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Roughly speaking, candidates will need to show that they’ve garnered contributions from 165,000 unique donors and that they have reached 3% in four polls. That compares to the previous threshold — 130,000 individual donors and 2% in four qualifying polls.
Candidates also can qualify for the November event by meeting the donor requirement and by reaching 5% or more support in two single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.
The DNC’s new criteria stands to make for a slimmer group on the debate stage, but it also could pare down the entire field of candidates.
Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, John Delaney, Tim Ryan and Joe Sestak are still in the race after failing to make the most recent debate, and if the don’t make the October event, scheduled for October 15 and possibly the next night too, their task becomes all the more difficult. Campaigns have depended on the debates to build exposure and expand their fundraising base.
CNN is hosting the next debate along with the New York Times. It will be held in Westerville, Ohio, on the campus of Otterbein University. Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett will moderate along with Marc Lacey, the Times‘ national editor.
The exact date, location and media host of the November debate have yet to be announced.