Why it matters: This upends previous assumptions about which candidates would qualify for the 2020 presidential debates. Some worry that drastically changing the rules will severely winnow the primary field — particularly for minority candidates.
How it works: 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.
Winners: A handful of top 2020 Dems 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.
Losers: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Cory Booker, former tech executive Andrew Yang, former Rep. John Delaney, and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro are among those candidates who have cause for concern about reaching the second debate stage.
- Yes, but: These candidates have still qualified with 1% or more in at least 3 qualifying polls, and some — like Yang, Booker, Castro, and Inslee — have 65,000 or more unique donors, which will get them to the June debate stage.
The bottom line: The DNC has stated that no more than 20 candidates will appear in the June or July debates. These latest requirements show how the DNC is under mounting pressure to focus its primary race on those who have a chance of challenging President Trump.
Candidates who have qualified with 1% or more in at least 3 qualifying polls and who have 65,000 or more unique donors:
- Sen. Bernie Sanders
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Sen. Kamala Harris
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- Beto O'Rourke
- Andrew Yang
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Sen. Cory Booker
- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- Marianne Williamson
- Gov. Jay Inslee
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Candidates who have qualified with 1% or more in at least 3 qualifying polls:
- Former Rep. John Delaney
- Former Gov. John Hickenlooper
- Rep. Tim Ryan
- Rep. Eric Swalwell
- Sen. Michael Bennet
Candidates who have not yet qualified:
- Mayor Wayne Messam
- Rep. Seth Moulton
- Former Sen. Mike Gravel
- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
- Mayor Bill de Blasio
What to watch: In the event that the total number of qualifying candidates exceeds 20 based on the requirements, the contenders who meet both polling and donor conditions will qualify first, followed by candidates with the greatest polling numbers, and then those with the highest number of unique donors.
- Each debate will include no more than 10 randomly selected candidates selected from a pool of qualifiers.
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Editor's note: This piece has been updated to reflect recent DNC requirement changes for the September debates.