We have the first two Democratic Primary Debates set for June and July, but today the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced the third debate will take place in September and be hosted by ABC News in partnership with Univision.
Along with the announcement, the DNC also released tighter qualification guidelines for the third and fourth debates. The fourth debate will take place sometime in October but no further details have yet been released.
Third Democratic Debate Details
Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019
A second night, on Friday, September 13, will be added if necessary. Really, though, which candidates want to be stuck debating on Friday the 13th?
Hosted by ABC News, and airing live on the ABC broadcast network as well as live on Univision, the third Democratic debate will take place on September 12, with a second night on September 13 if needed. The limit will be capped at 10 candidates per night, but with the higher requirements for participation, it’s very unlikely that a large number of candidates will qualify for the third debate.
Specific venue details and the location have not yet been released, nor has any information about moderators or air time.
More details direct from ABC News:
This year’s third Democratic primary debate will be hosted by ABC News in partnership with Univision and is scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13, the Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday.
The debate can be seen on ABC in prime time, live on Univision with a Spanish translation and on ABC News Live. The streaming channel is available on the ABCNews.com website and apps, as well as Hulu Live, The Roku Channel and Facebook Watch.
Details on the format, venue, moderators and exact timing for the debates will be announced at a later date.
It’s noteworthy that the DNC has decided to skip the month of August and give campaigns some time over the summer to winnow the field after the first two debates.
New debate qualification threshold
We’ve detailed the qualifications used to admit candidates into the first two debates, but the DNC has decided to double the requirements needed for the third and fourth debates.
Rather than the 1% polling threshold and/or 65,000 unique donors, the new qualifications will require at least 2% polling support and 130,000 unique donors, with at least 400 unique donors across 20 states.
In other words, candidates have to meet both the polling requirement and the fundraising requirement to qualify. This is in contrast to the first two debates where candidates can qualify for participation by meeting either one of the requirements.
Candidates who do not meet both the polling and grassroots fundraising thresholds will not qualify to appear in the third or fourth debate.
Some campaigns have already voiced their displease with the new, more stringent rules which will govern participation in the third debate.
Speaking to a reporter in New Hampshire, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand lamented the new threshold calling the 130,000 donor requirement an “odd measurable,” and adding, “why do you make that your measurable as opposed to have you won elections before and have you ever run statewide before and how many votes have you gotten before and have you passed legislation and are you effective in your job?”
Gillibrand also said the qualifications seem “random” and “inaccurate” but ultimately conceded that the decision is up to the DNC to figure out the best way to winnow the field down to candidates with the broadest national appeal.
Bookmark and follow our 2020 Democratic Primary Debate schedule for the latest details on the debates including live stream links, candidate lists, and participation thresholds.