Who has qualified for the South Carolina Democratic debate?
Seven Democratic presidential contenders are poised to participate in the South Carolina presidential primary debate that will be hosted by CBS News on Tuesday, February 25, between the Nevada caucuses on Saturday and the South Carolina primary a week later.
To secure a place on the debate stage in Charleston, candidates have to meet either a delegate or polling threshold, according to the Democratic National Committee.
As of Monday, seven of the eight Democrats still in the race for the nomination have qualified for the South Carolina debate:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg
- Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders
- Billionaire investor Tom Steyer
- Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
To qualify using the delegate threshold, Democratic presidential hopefuls must have been allocated at least one pledged delegate to the Democratic National Convention from either Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada.
Biden, Sanders and Warren have all qualified with their standing in four national polls, as well as with delegates. Buttigieg and Klobuchar have qualified with delegates.
The delegate totals are based on the candidates' performance in the February 3 Iowa caucuses on the results as reported by the Iowa Democratic Party, the February 11 New Hampshire primary on the results as reported by The Associated Press, and the February 22 Nevada caucuses on the results as reported by the Nevada Democratic Party or AP.
The alternative method of qualifying, by poll performance, requires presidential hopefuls to reach at least 10% polling in four national or South Carolina polls or at least 12% polling in two South Carolina polls from the list of qualified polling sponsors as outlined by the DNC. Each poll must be released between February 4 and 11:59 p.m. on February 24.
Bloomberg, who will be appearing in the Nevada debate Wednesday, has now also qualified for the South Carolina debate by attracting more than 10% support in a new Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll published late Tuesday afternoon. The poll found that Bernie Sanders led the field with 27% support, Joe Biden was second with 15%, and Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren each had 14%. Pete Buttigieg had 13% support in the poll, while Amy Klobuchar had 7%.
On the same day, the former New York City mayor also had 19% in an NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist survey released early Tuesday. He also exceeded the 10% threshold in polls conducted by Quinnipiac and Monmouth. Bloomberg, however, is not on the ballot in Nevada or South Carolina, the next two early-voting states.
Steyer, meanwhile, qualified for the South Carolina debate after receiving 18% among likely South Carolina primary voters in a new CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday. The poll found Biden has the highest support in South Carolina with 28%, followed by Sanders with 23%. Warren received 12% of support, following by Buttigieg with 10% and Klobuchar with 4%.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has until 11:59 p.m. ET on February 24 to qualify for the debate stage.
Melissa Quinn, Tim Perry and Sarah Ewall-Wice contributed to this report.
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