Democratic debate rules allow about half the candidates to participate

Debates have the potential to perform CPR on dying campaigns. They bump poll numbers and donations and voter interest in those critical early states.

Yet, some candidates get left out.

the January Democratic debate criterion

Requirements are increasingly stricter, with the January debate the most difficult to enter yet. For today’s debate, candidates were required to have:

  • 5% or more support in at least four different polls  (they had to get 4% for the December debate).
    • The polls can be national or state polls; each of the four polls had to have been run by different organizations or in different states. OR, a candidate could quality if he/she had 7% or more support in two single-state polls (they had to get 6% for the December debate).
  • donations from at least 225,000 donors, including at least 1,000 donors in at least 20 states

six candidates qualified

Six candidates made the cut in both polling and donation qualifications and will appear at Tuesday’s event:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Billionaire activist Tom Steyer

candidates that didn’t make the cut

  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has said he won’t accept any contributions (and therefore can’t qualify)
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  • Sen. Michael Bennet
  • Former congressman John Delaney of Maryland
  • Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick

Cory Booker just dropped out of the race.

For the first time this cycle, no nonwhite candidate made the stage.

Should the DNC have such strict debate rules? Does it run contrary to our democracy? Check out the debate here.

One issue that divides candidates and therefore will surely be discussed is Medicare-for-all. Want the simplest explanation ever? Check this out.

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