When we last checked on the candidate lineup for the November debate, the field was looking pretty thin. So thin, in fact, it looked like we were headed for a debate with only five candidates on stage. For viewers, a stage of five candidates might have been a welcome change compared to prior debates, or the September debate, for that matter, which will feature an eye-popping twelve candidates.

The November debate stage grew this week when New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang each received the polls they both needed to secure a podium next month.

MSNBC/Washington Post Democratic Debate (Fifth Debate)

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019
Location: Georgia
Sponsors: MSNBC, The Washington Post

The specific location, venue, format, and moderators will be announced at a later date.

As FiveThirtyEight reports, Booker slid in making the cut, and Steyer’s early-state spending blitz on advertising is making the difference for him:

Over the weekend, both Sen. Cory Booker and billionaire activist Tom Steyer earned the last qualifying poll they needed for November’s event, with Steyer making the cut despite having not even appeared in a single debate yet!

When we checked in last week, only the five polling front-runners had made the fifth debate. But since then, a Winthrop University survey released on Oct. 1 gave Booker his third qualifying poll (Steyer already had three), and then a Fox News poll released on Sunday gave both Steyer (4 percent support) and Booker (3 percent support) their fourth qualifying poll. Booker’s inclusion is certainly good news for his chances, as he’s often languished behind the front-runners in the polls. As for Steyer, his prodigious ad spending in the early states, along with the groundwork he laid with his pro-impeachment organization Need to Impeach, seems to have really paid dividends. All of Steyer’s qualifying surveys have come from an early state — either South Carolina or Nevada — whereas the other six qualifiers each have at least one national qualifying poll to their name.

This is the lineup for November, assuming that no other candidate makes the cut between now and the deadline later in October:

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

As for the rest, they’ll need to hope that some breakout moment in the October debate, coming up on the 15th, will give them some newfound life to spring out some qualifying polls before the end of the month.


On Tuesday evening reports indicated that Andrew Yang will become the eighth candidate on stage in November, per Politico:

Yang received 3 percent support in a national poll conducted by Quinnipiac University and released on Tuesday. He has previously gotten at least 3 percent in three other polls approved by the Democratic National Committee, according to POLITICO’s tracking, and has publicly said he crossed the fundraising threshold of 165,000 unique donors.

That will bring the total to 8 and the most likely outcome at this point is that none of the other candidates will make the cut. It’s possible, sure, but not likely given the polling data up tot his point.


Sen. Amy Klobuchar qualifies for the November debate as of Oct. 24 becoming the ninth candidate on stage.


Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has now qualified for the November debate.