The third round of Democratic debates starts September 12 in Houston, Texas. The stage is about to get a lot smaller. 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.
Why it matters: The Democrats’ massive 2020 field has put pressure on the DNC to focus its primary on those who can really challenge President Trump. If more than 10 candidates qualify, the debate will take place over two nights. Some worry that drastically changing DNC rules will severely winnow the primary field.
The latest to qualify is Julian Castro. The other nine to qualify so far are Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, Buttigieg, O’Rouke, Booker, Klobuchar, and Yang.
Gabbard and Steyer have so far met the donors threshold only. As for the others, expect a least a few to drop out when the debate lineup is finalized.