Democratic presidential hopefuls are facing a rapidly closing window to qualify for the next debate.
Candidates have until the end of the day Wednesday to meet the polling and fundraising thresholds necessary to make the debate stage. But as of Wednesday morning, it looked like the stage was going to include 10 of the more than 20 candidates seeking the White House.
The next debate will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston on Sept. 12. If more than 10 candidates qualify, there will be a second night on Sept. 13. The Democratic National Committee requires each candidate to have at least 2% support in four polls and contributions from at least 130,000 individual donors with at least 400 from 20 different states.
The increased polling and fundraising thresholds have clearly been difficult to attain for some candidates. Several who have previously qualified for a debate have thus far not met the thresholds. Three candidates have also dropped out of the race since the previous debate in July; two of them had previously participated in debates.
When is the next debate?: The next Democratic primary debate is Sept. 12 and 13 in Houston
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Tom Steyer, who has not yet appeared on a debate stage, is the closest to qualifying for this round. He needs one more qualifying poll. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is next in line; she needs two more qualifying polls. Both have met the fundraising marks.
Gabbard's campaign on Monday called for the DNC to revise which polls it considers for qualifying, citing in a statement "numerous irregularities in the selection and timing of those polls."
"Notably, there have been only four qualifying polls released after the second Democratic primary debate compared with fourteen qualifying polls released in the month after the first Democratic primary debate," the statement read.
On Wednesday morning, the campaign sent a fundraising email to supporters referencing the DNC debate criteria.
Author Marianne Williamson's campaign also took issue Tuesday night with the number of polls that have been released since July.
"There was an expectation that the chosen pollsters would participate and poll during this time period," a release from the campaign stated. "Therefore, the DNC should have monitored the process to ensure that all the polls they designated were fielded and released in a timely manner. "
The ten candidates who have qualified for the September debate stage as of Wednesday morning include:
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Sen. Kamala Harris of California
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas
Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Democratic debate 2019: What candidates qualified for Houston debate