Presidential candidates for the Democrats have until the end of the day today (Wednesday) to qualify for the upcoming debate in Houston on 9/12. Democratic presidential hopefuls must be polling at 2% or higher in at least four polls and have contributions from at least 130,000 individual donors, including at least 400 in each of 20 states.
So far, ten candidates will make it on the stage in Houston:
Barring a last-minute miracle, billionaire Tom Steyer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, self-help author Marianne Williamson, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York won’t be on the stage. They still have a chance to make the stage under the same rules in October (exact date and location not yet announced).
Candidates not making the stage (and even some who struggled a bit to make the stage) have complained about the rules set by the Democratic National Committee, particularly the scarcity of polls by DNC sanctioned polls. For instance, the Gabbard campaign called the DNC’s rules “cockamamie criteria.” However, some are pleased that the polls and donor thresholds are narrowing the field (particularly fellow political scientists who may wish to watch one night of debate...).
Some questions to consider with your class as the Democrats move towards narrowing the field through debates:
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