Time is quickly running out for candidates to qualify for the September Democratic debates. Candidates must receive at least 2% support in four DNC-approved polls conducted nationally or in the first four primary contests — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Additionally, candidates must receive a total of 130,000 contributions from unique individuals and have at least 400 unique donors in at least twenty different states.
These stricter requirements are already narrowing down the field. Twenty candidates qualified for the June and July debates, leading to crowded stages on each night. In September, the field may be cut in half. Thus far, only nine candidates have qualified for the September debates, with a few other closing in on securing a spot.
Democrats Qualified For The September Debates
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders
- Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
- California Senator Kamala Harris
- New Jersey Senator Cory Booker
- Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke
- Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
- Businessman Andrew Yang
- Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro
Candidates Nearing Debate Qualification
- Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard: Reached donor threshold, one qualifying poll
- Billionaire Tom Steyer: Three qualifying polls
- Governor John Hickenlooper: One qualifying poll
Impact Of The Debates
The first two debates have shown that they can have a significant impact. Kamala Harris raised $2 million immediately following the first round of debates. Bernie Sanders raised $1.1 million following the second round of debates, aided in part by a “I wrote the damn bill!” sticker promotion.
A poor debate can also have a negative impact on a campaign too. Senator Harris has seen her poll numbers plummet following an exchange she had with Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard over Harris’s prosecutorial record.
Who do you think will qualify for the debates? Leave a comment below!