- The candidates for the September debate are set.
- The next Democratic debate will be held on September 12.
- More than half of the Democratic candidates did not qualify for the debate.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the September 12 debate coming soon, a total of 10 candidates managed to qualify for the Democratic debate in September.
Here are the candidates who made it to the September debate:
Almost Made It
With the current stage set, the Democratic field is cut in half. The past two debates had 20 candidates and were held over two nights. Because the September debate only has 10 candidates, the debate will only happen in one night.
The reason for this is that the qualifications for the debates were a lot steeper. Candidates needed to meet two different requirements. They needed to have 130,000 unique donors with a minimum of 400 donors in at least 20 states. Candidates also needed to poll at two percent in four or more national polls approved by the DNC.
There were a few candidates who almost made it to the debate stage. Marianne Williamson needed three more polls to qualify. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard need reach two percent in two more polls. Tom Steyer was one poll away from making it to the Democratic debates. Steyer used millions of his own money to reach the donor requirement. But it did not help him in the polls.
Some of the Democratic candidates who missed out are thinking about hosting their own debates. Some people do not believe that is a good idea.
“It’s tempting to create an alternative to the DNC debate, but by doing that, you’re basically creating a kiddie table. You’re acknowledging you couldn’t make it, and I don’t think that goes over with voters,” said Erik Smith, former consultant of President Barack Obama’s campaign.
One Final Chance
But there is still some hope for the candidates who did miss out on the September debates. The debate in October will have the same qualifications requirements. This means that the candidates who made it to the September debate will automatically be in the October debates. This also allows candidates like Steyer and Gabbard an opportunity to qualify for the next debates.
But there is also a chance that these candidates could also miss out in the October debates. The fact of the matter is that missing one debate will be detrimental to their election odds. Voters might end up forgetting about them. Democratic pollster Mark Mellman says that less exposure will not help movement in national polls.
“Does [not making the September debate] keep you out of the primary completely? No. But does it do a lot of damage? Yes,” said Mellman.
For now, the Democratic debates will move on without half of the remaining candidates. There is a chance that some of them can reappear in the debates coming in October. But there is also a strong chance that these 10 candidates will be the only ones to appear on the debate stage again. The next Democratic debate will happen on September 12.