The first 2016 Democratic primary debate is fast approaching on October 13, and CNN has now officially announced the criteria it will use to determine which candidates receive an invite to the event. Unlike the Republican side, which is having trouble fitting all the candidates on stage, the short list on the Democratic side could make for a pretty lean lineup if the rules are not generous.

Schedule for Tuesday, October 13, 2015:

9pm ET (6pm PT) – CNN Democratic debate from Las Vegas
Candidates: Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, Webb, Chafee
Moderator: Anderson Cooper

Report from Politico:

CNN announced its debate criteria on Monday, making clear that Vice President Joe Biden will have the chance to make it onto the first debate stage on Oct. 13, should he declare.

In order to qualify for the debate stage, candidates must have achieved an average of 1 percent in three polls, recognized by CNN, released between Aug. 1 and Oct. 10. Candidates must also declare by Oct. 14, CNN said, meaning that Biden could announce his candidacy the day of the debate and still qualify.

All five declared Democratic candidates—Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee—have been invited to participate in the debate, CNN said.

The debate will be held in Las Vegas at the Wynn Hotel on Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. and will last two hours, CNN said. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will moderate, while CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, CNN en Español Anchor Juan Carlos Lopez and CNN anchor Don Lemon will present questions. Lemon will ask questions submitted through Facebook, the debate’s co-host.

As noted, Biden could wait until the day of the debate to declare his candidacy if he wishes to be a part of the event. CNN is making the rules nice an flexible so as to invite the possibility that Biden joins the debate which would mean a ratings boost and greater interest.

The debate will be live-streamed for free on and will also be broadcast in 3D virtual reality for some reason.


  1. So, the Village Idiot — Joe Biden — can get in on the “debate” at the very last minute (CNN is praying, since that will be “News”, thus make much more money for CNN selling commercials at a higher rate).

    It’s a 50/50 call that Biden will go for it. My prediction is that orally-farting-every-time-he-opens-his-mouth-Joe will skip it. He’ll wait to see how badly Hillary gets mangled by Bernie Sanders — and, then throw his jarmu?ka hat into the ring of the Dem’s circus.

  2. All these debates for all parties should be broadcast on channels or radio stations that make it possible for *most* Americans to view/listen.

    Not everyone has access to CNN or MSNBC or other Cable-only channels. C-Span and something like NPR should also be airing these debates, for the good of the electorate. The more informed our voters, the better our odds of getting someone ‘qualified’ on the ballot… instead of the nonsense we’ve had in recent elections.

    • I agree completely. NO network should be allowed to profit independently from our political process. They should be required to offer a feed to any other network AND be required to stream online.

      The recent Fox debate required cable membership payment, which is exactly the same as a POLL TAX, which the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional. The only difference is that this was a corporation in control.

      • Yes. We missed most of the 2nd debate because we don’t get that channel and had to scramble to find it on a radio station. Not sure we’ll even have that option for the upcoming Dem debate. ?

        They also should not interrupt the debate for commercials! Good grief! Doesn’t anybody have any loyalty toward our NATION and ITS NEEDS any more??

      • It would be as simple as providing a free internet stream. This whole “login to stream” thing is relatively new and I find it quite annoying. Offer a free stream with some advertising and how is that a loss compared to what people are watching on TV? I think the widest distribution would create even better ratings for these networks instead of the closed-shop mentality they have now.

        CNN will be streaming the Dem debate free tonight just like they did the last GOP debate.

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