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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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.