May 29, 2019 - Politics & Policy

DNC to increase requirements for second round of 2020 debates

Tom Perez, Chair, Democratic National Committee

DNC head Tom Perez. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

The DNC announced on Wednesday that it would double the requirements for candidates to reach the 2020 debate stage in September, per the AP.

Why it matters: With a massive field of over 20 candidates, the DNC is under pressure to focus its primary race on those who have a chance of breaking through the noise and challenging President Trump.

Details: After the first round of June and July debates, candidates will need to obtain 2% support in four approved polls over the summer and obtain contributions from at least 130,000 donors before Aug. 28 to qualify for the second debate round.

  • A handful of top 2020 Dems already won't have to worry about meeting that goal, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Beto O'Rourke.

Between the lines: DNC President Tom Perez is likely to be criticized for the changes after he guaranteed an inclusive debate format to satisfy the party's liberal, grassroots wing.

  • But the original requirements for the first round of debates — reaching 1% in four approved polls and a minimum of 65,000 individual donors —  has faced criticism for being too easy to reach.

Go deeper: Liberal activists drive the Democratic Party

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