CNN: Biden qualifies for first debate
© Getty Images

Vice President Biden has already qualified for next month’s CNN debate, the network confirmed Monday.

Now all he has to do is jump in the race.


CNN confirmed that any candidate who has averaged 1 percent in at least three credible polls would be able to participate in the debate. Since most recent polls have tested Biden and found he would have double-digit support, he meets the threshold easily.

With that main hurdle past, Biden wouldn’t even have to file official paperwork by the debate — the criteria says that a simple public declaration will suffice.

The loose criteria also allows for every declared Democratic candidate — former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Harris adds key Clinton aide, women of color to 2020 campaign: report Democrats more likely Trump's foil, than to foil Trump MORE, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBernie Sanders to sign pledge affirming he will run as a Democrat Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Hillicon Valley: Microsoft reveals new Russian hack attempts | Google failed to disclose hidden microphone | Booker makes late HQ2 bid | Conservative group targets Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon MORE (I-Vt.), former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee — to take the stage on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas.

O’Malley has struggled to gain traction as the party’s progressive alternative to Clinton, a space that’s solidly occupied by Sanders. Although he has reached 1 percent in enough polls to qualify for the debate, he's tied with Webb at 0.8 percent in a RealClearPolitics average of recent national polling. However, he has sole hold of third place in Iowa and New Hampshire in the low single digits.

Webb and Chafee, both hardly a fixture on the national campaign trail, have similar struggles in the polls. Chafee has failed to register above 0 in each of the last five national polls. Despite that, CNN's debate criteria uses polls dating back to Aug. 1, so Chafee qualifies.