Just like that, we now have 12 candidates qualified for the October Democratic debate coming up on the 15th and 16th. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard secured her last poll needed to claim a spot on the debate stage. Gabbard becomes the first candidate who missed the cut in September, after appearing at the first two debates but has been able to get back on the stage for the fourth debate in October.

Politico reports on the welcome news for the Gabbard campaign:

Gabbard got 2 percent support in a New Hampshire poll conducted by Monmouth University and released on Tuesday. The Hawaii congresswoman had previously gotten 2 percent in three other DNC-approved polls, and her campaign said she already racked up more than the 130,000 donors she needed to make the debate stage.

Gabbard will join Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tom Steyer, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang onstage in October.

Neither Steyer nor Gabbard participated in the September debate, with both needing more time to hit the polling threshold. It’s not yet clear if their inclusion will force two nights of debates in October. Previously, the DNC and its media partners have wanted to avoid putting more than 10 people onstage at a time.

The news might be welcome for Gabbard, but it’s probably horrible news for viewers who already feel that there are too many candidates on stage. Once again, we will get a debate split over two nights, this time with possibly 6 candidates on stage each night. There’s no doubt that 6 on stage at a time is better than 10, but inevitably some of the front runners will be split up again as they were int he first two debates.

October Democratic Debate (Debate #4)

Watch On: CNN
Night 1:
 Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019
Night 2: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
Location: Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio
Moderators: Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, and Marc Lacey

No word yet on which candidates will appear on which night.

October Debate Candidates

Here is the list of candidates for the October debate which will air on CNN next month:

NumCandidatePolls AND DonorsDonors Only
1Joe Biden
2Cory Booker
3Pete Buttigieg
4Kamala Harris
5Amy Klobuchar
6Beto O’Rourke
7Bernie Sanders
8Tom Steyer
9Elizabeth Warren
10Andrew Yang
11Julian Castro
12Tulsi Gabbard
Not Qualified
13Michael Bennet
14Steve Bullock
15John Delaney
16Wayne Messam
17Tim Ryan
18Joe Sestak
19Marianne Williamson

Gabbard will likely be the last candidate to make the cut. Marianne Williamson is the next closest, but she still needs 3 more qualifying polls. The deadline for qualifying is Oct. 1 which means it’s practically impossible for Williamson to earn a debate spot.

Gabbard’s ability to make the stage once again may be due to the headlines she created in recent weeks over her allegations that the DNC is not being transparent in how they create the rules which govern debate participation. To the contrary, the DNC says, they’re being very transparent, and that they can’t please everyone. That issue won’t be settled any time soon but at least Gabbard will take home a consolation prize.

Gabbard will get another chance to stand before voters on the debate stage and make her case to a national audience.


  1. A strange thing to hear from me but I am glad that Tulsi Gabbard qualified for the debate in October. But since as the article mentions the twelve candidates will be divided by 2 to form two 6 candidate debates, I wonder if the DNC will play their tricks again??

    Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been wailing since the first debate that big money is ruining politics. Their fellow candidate, Tom Steyer got into the mix by using his vast fortune. Will the three of them be in the same debate so Steyer can be grilled about this fact by the two left wing fanatics? Very, very unlikely as I believe that the DNC wants to show how harmonious the candidates are.?

    Now we get to Tulsi Gabbard. In the debate in Detroit she mopped up the floor with Kamala Harris. Harris’s precipitous drop in national support from 17% to 5% can be partly attributed to the shellacking she took in Detroit. Will these two be in the same debate, very unlikely. My reasoning for this is the exact same as the one I gave in regards to Steyer vs Sanders and Warren.?

    If I am correct then the DNC will be doing a disservice to their followers who I would think would want to see a spirited debate. Not one where the candidates are asked the really tough questions like what color is the sky.?

  2. Perhaps the ages of the candidates should be included. Many people are opposed, some to those in their sixties, and many more to those in their seventies and above. Age is a sensitive thing for some, but for those in public life, the public wants this information.

      Bernie Sanders (Sept. 8, 1941)—79
      Joe Biden (Nov. 20, 1942)—76
      Elizabeth Warren (June 22, 1949)—70
      Tom Steyer (June 27, 1957)—62
      Amy Klobuchar (May 25, 1960)—59
      Kamala Harris (Oct. 20, 1964)—54
      Cory Booker (April 27, 1969)–50
      Beto O’Rourke (Sept. 26, 1972)—47
      Julian Castro (Sept. 16, 1974)—45
      Andrew Yang (Jan. 13, 1975)—44
      Tulsi Gabbard (Apr. 21, 1981)—38
      Pete Buttigieg (Jan. 19, 1982)—37

      William Weld (July 31, 1945)—74
      Donald Trump (June 14, 1946)—73
      Mark Sanford (May 28, 1980)—59
      Joe Walsh (Dec. 27, 1961)–57

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