Aug 19, 2019

Jay Inslee unlikely to qualify for CNN's climate change town hall

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has centered his 2020 campaign around climate change policy, was not one of the 10 Democratic presidential candidates who qualified for an invite to CNN's climate change town hall in September.

Why it matters: Several polls point to climate change as a top issue for Democratic voters, but Inslee, whose proposals and debate appearances have been focused on severing the U.S. from fossil fuel dependency, is still polling around 1%.

  • CNN said it would extend invitations to candidates who reach 2% in at least four DNC-approved polls conducted between June 28 and Aug. 21. Candidates have until Wednesday to qualify for the Sept. 4 town hall, so it means Inslee will likely end up being locked out.

The lineup:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
  • Andrew Yang
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), who initially declined her invitation due to a scheduling conflict.

Go deeper: Pressure grows for a Democratic climate debate

Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect Kamala Harris' decision to attend the event.

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Jay Inslee withdraws from 2020 presidential race

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks with reporters at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 10 in Des Moines. Photo: ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race.

Why it matters: Inslee was a longshot for the Democratic nomination, but his focus on climate change has helped elevate the issue to a degree unseen in prior cycles. He was the driving force behind what’s now a wider — though still unsuccessful — campaign for the Democratic National Committee to hold a debate on the topic. Inslee hit the donor threshold to qualify for September's Democratic debates, but did not meet the minimum polling requirements.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 22, 2019

Kamala Harris joins CNN climate change town hall after criticism from activists

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

2020 Democratic contender Sen. Kamala Harris' campaign announced Tuesday that she will take part in a Sept. 4 CNN town hall on climate change after initially declining due to a scheduling conflict.

Why it matters: She has said rather little about her climate platform compared to detailed plans from some other top-tier hopefuls.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

The 2020 candidates who have qualified for the next Democratic debate

Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren. Photos: Scott Olson/Getty Images, Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images, and Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The fourth round of Democratic debates will be held on Oct. 15 in Westerville, Ohio, with 12 candidates onstage, making it the biggest single-night debate to date. 

How it works: This debate had the same requirements as September's. Qualifying candidates must have reached 2% in 4 DNC-approved polls and drawn 130,000 unique donors — including 400 donors in 20 different states. Oct. 1 was the final day to make the cut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 2, 2019