DemDaily: The Fifth Debate

September 24, 2019

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced the new requirements for the fifth Democratic primary debate in November, upping the ante once again for those hoping to make it to that stage.

In addition to a jump in the fundraising threshold, there are now two pathways to reach the polling requirement, which has been raised to 3% in four national or early state polls, or 5% in two early state polls.

First Democratic Debate, June 26th & 27th in Miami, Florida (Joe Raedle/Getty)

Three of an anticipated 12 official party debates have taken place to-date, with the fourth scheduled for October 15th in Westerville, Ohio, and hosted by CNN and The New York Times.

2020 marks the first presidential cycle that the DNC has set dual qualifications for debate contenders, imposing a grassroots fundraising metric to the mix, in addition to the traditional polling threshold.

The new criteria was the Party's answer to winnowing a historically large field of 25+ contenders challenged with proving their credibility in the field and online.

The first and second debates fell under the new debate requirements, announced in February, of meeting a polling threshold of 1% in three major national or early-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada.

Or candidates could qualify by meeting the fundraising threshold of at least 65,000 individual donors and
a minimum of 200 unique donors in at least 20 states.

Second Democratic Debate, July 30th & 31st in Detroit, Michigan. Biden and Harris square off on busing

To accommodate the large field, the debates occurred over two consecutive nights, capped at 20 candidates based on their polling and fundraising performance.

For the third and fourth debates, the DNC doubled the numbers, requiring 2% in four national or early primary state polls and donations from 130,000 individual donors and a minimum of 400 unique donors in at least 20 states.

The third debate, which was held in Houston, Texas on September 12th, was narrowed to one night of ten candidates, positioned on stage with the top qualifiers from the center-out.

How It Works
Tulsi Gabbard, today, became the twelfth candidate to qualify for the fourth debate on October 15th. Should the DNC decide to split the candidates, a second night will be added on Wednesday, October 16th.

Qualifying polls include those released between June 28, 2019 and October 1, 2019.

   October 15, 2019

Date Tuesday, October 15th
Time 8:00pm ET (TBC)
Candidates Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang
Networks CNN and The New York Times
1) Meet a 2% polling threshold in at least four separate national or early primary state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevadaand 
2) Receive donations from 130,000 individual donors and a minimum of 400 unique donors in at least 20 states, territories or DC

Third Democratic Debate, September 12th in Houston, Texas

Qualifying Polls must include one of the following 15 entities or pairs of "Qualifying Poll Sponsors:"

Associated Press; ABC News/Washington Post; CBS News/YouGov; CNN; Des Moines Register; Fox News; Monmouth University; National Public Radio; NBC News/Wall Street Journal; NBC News/Marist; New York Times; Quinnipiac University; University of New Hampshire; USA Today/Suffolk University; Winthrop University.

To qualify for the fifth Democratic primary debate, polls must be publicly released between September 13, 2019 and seven days prior to the date of the November debate. Each poll's candidate support question must have been conducted by reading or presenting a list of Democratic presidential primary candidates to respondents.

November, 2019

Date & Location November, 2019. Day, City & Location TBD
Networks & Moderators TBD. Participating networks for all official DNC debates have committed to including a woman and a person of color among the moderators
Qualifications 1) Meet a 3% polling threshold in at least four separate national or early primary state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Nevada, or receive 5% in at least two early primary state polls, and 

2) Receive donations from at least 165,000 unique donors, and a minimum of 600 unique donors per state in at least 20 US states, territories or DC

Out of the Race: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), former Senator Mike Gravel (AK), former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Seth Moulton (MA) and Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA).



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Kimberly Scott

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