Jan 7, 2020

DNC to reschedule January debate if it conflicts with impeachment trial

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said the party will reschedule its Jan. 14 debate if it conflicts with President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Three 2020 candidates who have qualified for the debate in Des Moines, Iowa are senators, and will serve as jurors in the upcoming trial: Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

  • Sens. Cory Booker and Michael Bennet have not yet qualified for next Tuesday's debate.

What he's saying: “Obviously, if there’s a trial on the 14th, then we’ll move the debate. If there’s not, then we’re going to have the debate. At the moment, all systems are go, and so we’re going to move forward,” Perez said on MSNBC.

  • “Democrats and our senators can walk and chew gum."

What to watch: The DNC did not comment when asked whether this Friday's qualification deadline would be delayed should the debate be postponed, Politico notes.

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Tom Steyer qualifies for January debate

Tom Steyer. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Six candidates have qualified for the seventh Democratic debate, scheduled for Jan. 14, newly including billionaire Tom Steyer as of Thursday.

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%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 9, 2020

Yang says he's not sure if Bloomberg is "excited" about DNC debate change

Andrew Yang said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that he's not sure if fellow 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg is "excited" to participate in the Democratic primary debates, following a rule change by the Democratic National Committee that will eliminate the individual-donor threshold.

DNC offers low-tier candidates a shot at qualifying for Feb debate

The seventh Democratic debate on Jan. 14. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

The next Democratic debate offers candidates left behind by increasingly difficult Democratic National Committee rules the chance to get back on stage, New York Times' Maggie Astor writes.

Why it matters: The DNC's new rule, which allows candidates to qualify for the Feb. 7 debate by gaining just one pledged delegate from the Iowa caucuses, could land candidates like Andrew Yang back in the mix and, possibly for the first time, Michael Bloomberg.

Go deeperArrowJan 19, 2020