Presidential debates

Julián Castro qualifies for the September Democratic debates

This image is a four-way splitscreen of Booker, Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg.
Booker, Harris, Buttigieg and Warren. Photos: Scott Olson/Getty Images, Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images, and Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The third round of Democratic debates starts September 12 in Houston, Texas. The stage is about to get a lot smaller.

How it works: This debate doubles the qualifying threshold of the last two, requiring candidates reach 2% in 4 DNC-approved polls and draw 130,000 unique donors — including 400 donors in 20 different states. Candidates have until August 28 to make the cut.

10.7 million watched Night 2 of second Democratic debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A few buzzy zingers and testy exchanges during Night 2 of the second round of Democratic debates on Wednesday caused ratings to tick up from the previous evening.

By the numbers: More than 10 million people tuned into the second night on live television, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. That's higher than the 8.7 million that watched the night before.