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Steve Bullock makes second DNC debate after not qualifying for the first

Bullock: Debates should be about "more than the DNC rules"

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has qualified for the second Democratic primary debate in July, after failing to qualify for the first debate in June because he did not meet the polling and donation requirements set by the Democratic National Committee.

Bullock received 1% in a CBS News Battleground Tracker poll released on Sunday, which the DNC has confirmed meets the qualification threshold.

"As the only candidate who has won a Trump state, we are excited that Governor Steve Bullock's important voice will be on the stage for the second debate," campaign manager Jenn Ridder said in a statement.

To qualify for the first and second debates in June and July, the DNC required that a candidate obtain 1% or more in three polls that met the DNC's standards, or raise funds from 65,000 donors from 20 states. Bullock's campaign argued that he had obtained 1% in three polls, but the DNC determined that one of those polls was not specific enough.

Bullock will be holding town halls on the nights of the first debate, June 26 and 27. Because there are 20 candidates who qualified for the debates, the field has been split into two groups of ten that will debate on each night.

On Wednesday June 26, the night of the first debate, Bullock will appear at a town hall in Iowa broadcast on WHO-DT, a Des Moines NBC affiliate. On June 27, the night of the second debate, he will be holding a town hall in New Hampshire broadcast on Manchester's WMUR, an ABC affiliate.

Bullock's exclusion from the debates has been criticized by all DNC members from Montana. "We know many consider us to be fly-over country or little more than an ideal vacation spot, but we know we've offered countless invaluable contributions to the Democratic Party and our nation as a whole," top Montana Democrats wrote in a scathing letter to DNC chair Tom Perez earlier this month. 

"The recent implementation of extra qualification rules for the June debates in Miami could deny the Democratic Party a voice representing rural America."

Tim Perry contributed to this report

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