Drew Angerer/Getty Images
- The Democratic primary debates for September have significantly more strict qualifying thresholds, suggesting the 2020 presidential field could thin out considerably before the next round.
- Candidates must reach 2% in at least four separate polls approved by the Democratic National Committee and receive at least 130,000 individual donations, which must also include 400 donors in at least 20 states or US territories.
- So far, nine candidates have qualified.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Democratic presidential primary debates set for this September will be decidedly more difficult for candidates to qualify for than the first round of debates.
The number of donors candidates must receive is doubled to a minimum of 130,000, with at least 400 donors coming from 20 different states or US territories. The candidates will also have to obtain at least 2% in four separate polls approved by the Democratic National Committee.
And unlike the first two sets of debates in June and July, candidates will have to meet both the polling and donor minimums, instead of being able to qualify but meeting just one of them.
That could thin out the field considerably, with many candidates very far from meeting either threshold, let alone both.
So far, nine candidates have met both thresholds to qualify for the September debates. An additional candidate — HUD Secretary Julián Castro — has obtained the necessary 130,000 donors and have three qualifying polls each, putting him on track to also make the stage in September.
And billionaire activist Tom Steyer has three qualifying polls but has not yet obtained 130,000 donors, giving him a reasonable shot at making the stage in October, which has the same qualification requirements as the September debate.
Here are the candidates who have qualified so far.
Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and first-time political candidate, has a huge online fan base known as the Yang Gang which helped him achieve the 130,000 donor requirement with relative ease. He qualified for the fall debates on August 8 after reaching 2% in a Monmouth University poll of Iowa.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota got her fourth qualifying poll from a Fox News survey in late July, and her campaign announced she had obtained 130,000 donors on August 2, shortly after the second round of Democratic debates.