It’s the last month of 2019 and there is just one debate left this year before we hit the next phase of the campaign in January. Coming up on Dec. 19, the debate stage could be limited to just six candidates sparring with each other at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Here are all the details we have so far about the sixth debate which is being co-sponsored by PBS NewsHour and Politico.

PBS NewsHour/POLITICO Democratic Debate (6th Debate)
 Thursday, December 19, 2019
Watch On: PBS, CNN
Location: Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles
Sponsors: PBS NewsHour, POLITICO
Moderators: PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, PBS NewsHour senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz, and PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor

This debate will be aired on local PBS stations around the country as well as airing live on CNN in addition to free online streams.

Debate Qualifications

The fundraising threshold for participation has been increased somewhat compared to the October and November debates, with the December event requiring at t least 200,000 unique donors, and a minimum of 800 individual donors per state in at least 20 states. This is an increase from the prior threshold of 165,000 unique donors and 600 individual donors per state threshold.

The polling standard has also been increased in a way that will cut the field down more than the donor requirements.

To make the December debate, candidates must hit 4 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls of primary voters nationally or in early-voting states, such as Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina. Alternately, candidates can qualify by hitting 6 percent in two approved early-state polls and forgo the national polls.

December Debate Candidates

Seven candidates have qualified for the December debate:

NumCandidatePolls AND DonorsDonors Only
1Joe Biden
2Pete Buttigieg
3Amy Klobuchar
4Bernie Sanders
5Tom Steyer
6Elizabeth Warren
7Andrew Yang
Not Qualified
8Cory Booker
9Tulsi Gabbard
10Julian Castro
11Michael Bennet
12John Delaney
13Marianne Williamson
14Mike Bloomberg

Sen. Cory Booker and Andrew Yang have the necessary number of donors, but they lack the poll numbers.

Despite reports that Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign is in total disarray, with senior aides bailing ship, she has still easily qualified for the December debate. The New York Times says Harris’ campaign is “unraveling” but as previous primaries have shown, she’s not entirely out yet. She still has some polling support from voters and her donations have been enough to keep her going. If she can somehow reposition her strategy and come up with a plan, she could still be in contention.

If things don’t turn around soon, however, it’s possible Harris doesn’t make it to the early primary states next year which is rather astonishing considering how strongly her campaign started and how high her prospects were for 2020.

Will Bloomberg Debate?

The short answer: No, he won’t. Unlike Tom Steyer, who spent a good deal of money drumming up small-dollar donations and polling support to earn a debate spot, Bloomberg has said he’ll take absolutely no donations whatsoever. This means he could never qualify for a debate spot under the current DNC rules which require a certain number of donors from various states.

Unless the rules change or an exception is made for Bloomberg, which would be extremely unfair to every other campaign, Bloomberg will never set foot on a debate stage.

Stay tuned to the debate schedule page for all the latest details.


Tom Steyer has also qualified for the December debate as of 12/3.

Update 2

Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential race though she had earned a spot on the December debate stage.

Update 3

As of Dec. 11, Andrew Yang has also made the cut for the December debate making him the seventh candidate to qualify.