DemDaily: The Sixth Debate. Qualifications Announced!

October 28, 2019

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced the new requirements for the sixth Democratic primary debate, which will be held December 19th in Los Angeles.

In addition to a jump in the fundraising threshold, candidates may reach the polling requirement, which has been raised to 4% in four national or early-state polls, or 6% in two early-state polls.

(Pic: Scott/DemList)

Four of an anticipated 12 official party debates have taken place to date.

2020 marks the first presidential cycle for which 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 originally 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 or meet a fundraising threshold of at least 65,000 individual donors and a minimum of 200 unique donors in at least 20 states.

For the third and fourth debates, the DNC doubled the numbers and required both the polling and fundraising qualifications.

The fifth debate will be held in the new Tyler Perry Studios in southwest Atlanta, Georgia on November 20th and co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker and Ashley Parker will moderate the event.

Candidates must meet 3% in four national polls or at least 5% in two early-state polls. Qualifying polls must be released between September 13, 2019 and November 13, 2019. Contenders must also receive contributions from at least 165,000 individual donors and a minimum of 600 unique donors in at least 20 states.

Nine candidates have so far qualified for the fifth debate, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar.

December 19, 2019

Date December 19, 2019
Location Los Angeles, California. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Networks PBS NewsHour and Politico. Moderators TBA
Live Streaming PBS NewsHour digital platforms on the web, mobile and connected TVs and on Politico's digital and social media platforms
Candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren as of October 28th
Qualifications 1) Meet a 4% polling threshold in at least four separate national or early primary state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Nevada, or receive 6% in at least two early primary state polls, and 

2) Receive donations from at least 200,000 unique donors, and a minimum of 800 unique donors per state in at least 20 US states, Territories or DC
Polls must be released between October 16th and December 12th, and campaign donations by 11:59 P.M. on December 12, 2019

Qualifying Polls must include one of the following 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.

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have already met the polling and fundraising thresholds for the December debate. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg are both one poll away from qualifying.

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), Congressman Tim Ryan (OH) and Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA).


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Kimberly Scott

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