As many analysts predicted would be the case, there are now over 20 candidates who qualify for a spot in the first Democratic debate on June 26 and 27. Each campaign has been pushing hard for fundraising money, begging for donations as low as one dollar simply to get more unique donors on the fundraising reports to sure-up a debate spot and avoid being cut-off in a tie-breaker scenario.

Debate Qualifications

To qualify for the first two Democratic debates in June and July, candidates must earn at least one percent support in three separate national or early-state polls conducted from January 1 to two weeks before the debate. For the first debate, the deadline is June 12. Candidates can also qualify by receiving donations from at least 65,000 people across 20 different states, with a minimum of 200 unique donors per state.

Candidates who meet both the fundraising and polling thresholds are essentially “guaranteed” a spot on the stage since they will be far above the tie-breaker cutoff.

For candidates who only meet one qualification, a tie-breaker method will be used by examining the number of donors and fundraising amounts.

As it stands today, here’s a list of candidates meeting the various qualifications.

Candidates that meet fundraising AND polling

1. former Vice President Joe Biden
2. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
3. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
4. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
5. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
6. California Sen. Kamala Harris
7. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
8. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
9. former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
10. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
11. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
12. tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang
13. motivational speaker Marianne Williamson

Candidates that meet polling only

Candidates stuck in this list are in danger of being left off the stage.

14. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (See update below)
15. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
16. former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
17. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
18. former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
19. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
20. California Rep. Eric Swalwell
21. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet

Candidates who meet neither threshold

These candidates have until June 12 to at least get into contention for a debate spot.

22. Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton
23. Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam

Qualification deadline

When does the deadline hit on fundraising numbers and polling support for the first Democratic debate? Candidates have up until June 12 which gives candidates a few more days to push and poke their supporters to donate a few more bucks to help them avoid being cut from the debate stage.

Random selection

To divide up the debate stage for 20 candidates, the debate will be held over two nights on June 26 and 27. Each broadcast will start at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT) and feature 10 candidates.

The candidates will be randomly assigned a night but precautions will be taken to ensure that higher polling candidates aren’t all bunched together on a single night to avoid the appearance of an undercard debate filled with low-polling candidates.

Bookmark and follow our debate schedule page for the latest information.

Update (6/7/19)

According to clarification from the DNC, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has not yet made the cut to appear at the first debate. This would leave the qualified number of candidates at 20.

1 COMMENT

  1. Interesting qualifications. I’d forgotten when the debates were. Thanks for the reminder.

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