Businessman and entrepreneur Andrew Yang was on the cusp of qualifying for the September Democratic debate but a new poll from Monmouth University, which showed him at two percent support in Iowa, provided the push he needed to claim a spot on stage.
Qualifying for the September debate automatically qualifies Yang for the October debate stage as well so this is a meaningful milestone for his campaign.
Yang announced the news in a tweet on Thursday:
We did it – poll #4! Thank you #YangGang – it is on to Houston and the Fall debates!! Special thank you to all who have been spreading the word. Let’s make history together! ????? https://t.co/WyYbnqWRil
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) August 8, 2019
He will join the eight other Democrats who have already qualified for a ticket to the Houston debate which will air September 12 on ABC.
September Debate Candidates
Yang pushes the total to nine candidates on stage in September, with two more flirting with the possibility of joining as well:
|Num||Candidate||Polls AND Donors||Donors Only|
|14||Bill de Blasio|
Beyond Yang, the next most likely candidate to secure a spot is former HUD Secretary Julian Castro who has already met the donor requirement. He just needs one more poll giving him 2% support, or higher, nationally or in an early primary state. It’s likely that Castro will hit the mark, but there’s a chance he could miss September but still make the October stage.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has also hit the donor requirement but has only hit the 2% threshold in a single poll which means she stands a good chance at missing the September stage. There’s still time before the August 28 deadline, but polling data often lags behind voter sentiment and takes days to be released. It’s possible she could find a couple of polls in the next ten days to earn a spot on stage in September, but it’s actually more likely she misses September but qualifies for the October debate instead.
No other candidate is anywhere close to earning a spot in September. Much of the field lacks the fundraising numbers needed. It appears the maximum number in September could be 11 candidates, but that possibility still remains unlikely.
As we reported on Wednesday, the October debate may end up being much larger than the September debate due to the way the DNC is allowing campaigns more time to qualify versus September. It’s entirely possible that upwards of 12 to 13 candidates could make the cut in October which would push the event back to two nights, something that ABC is hoping to avoid in September.
If the September (or October) debate does happen to expand to two nights, perhaps the individual nights themselves will be less of a “reality show” and actually give candidates a chance to answer if the field is divided up with only six or seven candidates on stage each night.