The first Democratic primary debate is on June 26 -- but not every candidate has met the thresholds for support and donations to qualify for the party's debates.
Here is a rundown of how candidates can qualify for the first two debates, and who has qualified so far:
How candidates qualify for the debates
In an effort to give most candidates the chance to appear on the debate stage, the Democratic National Committee has scheduled, with set for June. The debates will be split up into two consecutive nights, with candidates randomly chosen to appear on each date.
To qualify for the first two debates, candidates have to fulfill one of two criteria: either get 65,000 donors to their campaigns, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or obtain at least 1 percent in three polls recognized as legitimate by the committee. If more than 20 candidates qualify for the debate, the DNC has said it will choose participants with "a methodology that gives primacy to candidates meeting both thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors."
The candidates who have fulfilled both criteria and qualified for the debates
Several of the most high profile candidates have met both the donation and polling thresholds.
- Joe Biden: The former vice president had qualified for the debates before he even entered the race on Thursday, as he has been steadily leading the polls. His campaign said that he reached the fundraising threshold in the first 12 hours of the campaign.
- Bernie Sanders: Sanders has consistently been near the top in national and state polls, usually behind former Biden. Sanders with 525,000 individual contributors.
- Kamala Harris: Harris has also generally been polling well, often in third place behind Biden and Sanders. She raised $12 million from 218,000 individual contributions in the first quarter.
- Elizabeth Warren: Warren is typically behind the top three in the polls, but has remained a steady figure in the middle. She raised $6 million from 135,000 donors.
- Beto O'Rourke: The telegenic former Senate candidate for Texas is averaging in fourth place in Democratic primary polls, according to FiveThirtyEight. O'Rourke has raised over $9 million from roughly 218,000 individual donations.
- Pete Buttigieg: The South Bend mayor has surged in recent polls and emerged as an early contender for the nomination. He raised an unexpectedly large sum in the first quarter, $7 million from roughly 159,000 donors.
- Andrew Yang: Yang, the tech entrepreneur running a grassroots campaign fueled by social media, is polling in the low single digits nationally, according to RealClearPolitics. But he raised $1.7 million from 80,000 individual donors in the first quarter.
- Tulsi Gabbard: Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, was initially the only candidate who qualified for the debates by having received over 65,000 individual donors alone. More recently, she has appeared at or above 1 percent in a few polls.
- Julián Castro: Castro announced that he had received donations from over 65,000 donors on the same day as one of his competitors, Cory Booker.
- Cory Booker: Booker has hovered around the low single digits in the polls. He announced that he had received donations from over 65,000 donors on the same day as Castro.
- Marianne Williamson: According to Politico, Williamson met both thresholds after a Monmouth University poll released showed her at 1 percent — the third poll to do so this year.
- Jay Inslee: Inslee announced that he met the 65,000 donor threshold to appear in the debates at the end of May.
- Amy Klobuchar
The candidates who have fulfilled one criteria and qualified for the debates
Most candidates who have qualified for the first debates by fulfilling only one criteria have qualified through polls. This list includes:
- John Delaney
- John Hickenlooper
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- Tim Ryan
- Eric Swalwell
- Michael Bennet
- Bill de Blasio
Who has not yet qualified for the debates
Well, do the math. Several candidates entered the race after the end of the first quarter, meaning that they have not yet hit the fundraising threshold. Some of the lesser-known candidates are also struggling to make an impact in the polls. Here are the candidates who have not yet qualified for the debates:
- Seth Moulton: Moulton acknowledged to radio show host Hugh Hewitt that he would not meet the criteria to make the first debates on June 6, but insisted that he was not deterred.
- Mike Gravel
- Wayne Messam
- Steve Bullock: Bullock has not qualified due to questions over one of the three polls his campaign is citing.
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