Updated Dec 13, 2019

Who has qualified for the December Democratic debate

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders at the November debate in Atlanta. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Seven candidates qualified for the sixth Democratic 2020 presidential debate, scheduled for Dec. 19 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Driving the news: All qualifying candidates have said on Twitter they won't attend the debate unless the host, Loyola Marymount University, reaches a deal with its workers in an ongoing labor dispute.

How it works: December's polling requirements included at least 4% of support in at least four DNC-approved national or early-state polls.

  • Candidates could also qualify by hitting 6% in two approved early-state polls.
  • Contenders need at least 200,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 800 donors in 20 states.
  • The event will be moderated by Politico's Tim Alberta and PBS' Judy Woodruff, Amna Nawaz and Yamiche Alcindor.

Candidates who will be on stage:

  1. Former Vice President Joe Biden
  2. Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  3. Sen. Bernie Sanders
  4. Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  5. Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  6. Billionaire Tom Steyer
  7. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

Candidates who met donor qualifications, but not polling requirements:

  1. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who said on Monday that she will not attend the debate whether she qualifies in the polls or not. She said she plans to travel to South Carolina and New Hampshire instead.
  2. Sen. Cory Booker, who made it clear in September that his campaign needs more funding to stay in the game.
  3. Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, who failed to qualify for the November debate stage weeks after threatening to drop out over waning fundraising.

Candidates that did not meet any qualifications:

Author Marianne Williamson, Former Gov. Deval Patrick, Former Rep. John Delaney, Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Michael Bennet.

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What's new: Steyer qualified for the debate after an apparent spike in early state polls in South Carolina and Nevada. He tied alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren for third place in Nevada, with both candidates hitting 12%. In South Carolina, Steyer landed in second place at 15%, but widely trailed behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who led the poll at 36%.

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Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez told the New York Times that while he hears 2020 candidates' frustrations over the qualification criteria for primary debates, he believes everything the committee has done has been "completely fair and transparent."

Driving the news: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who failed to qualify for the December debate, circulated a letter over the weekend urging the DNC to lower its debate qualifications for the January and February debates. Nine candidates have signed the letter, including the seven who qualified to appear on stage Thursday.

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