Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates

Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates
© Stefani Reynolds

White House hopeful Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerCNN, NY Times to host next Democratic debate in October The Hill's 12:30 Report: House panel approves impeachment powers Steyer calls for formal impeachment inquiry against Trump in new ad MORE on Friday called for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to expand its criteria for candidates to qualify for the September primary debate.

Steyer, who is one survey away from reaching the DNC’s polling threshold for next month’s debate stage, said the body should expand the number of polls it approves, including one Nevada survey that would make Steyer the 11th candidate to qualify for the next debate.

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“The polling is clear. In just over six weeks, Tom’s message of breaking the corporate stranglehold in Washington is resonating in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. The American people deserve to hear this message in September, but are being denied by the lack of recent qualifying polls,” Tom Steyer 2020 campaign manager Heather Hargreaves said in a statement.

“Today, we are calling on the DNC to expand their polling criteria to include more qualifying polling, including at least one poll in Nevada before the deadline next week. As a party, we want to ensure the will of the voters is respected,” she said. 

To qualify for next month’s debate, candidates must garner 130,000 unique donors and hit 2 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls. Steyer has already hit the donor threshold.

"The debate rules have been public for months, and candidates have been given more opportunities and more time to qualify for debates than in previous cycles," DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement to The Hill in response to Steyer's request.

Several candidates who have yet to qualify hammered the DNC over the qualifications Friday, saying it was not approving enough polls or that the four-survey floor was too stringent.

“The Gabbard campaign is calling on the DNC to hold true to their promise and make adjustments to the process now to ensure transparency and fairness,” Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardDemocrats debate in Houston: Who came out on top? Poll: Sanders and Biden now in statistical tie in New Hampshire Krystal Ball: Tulsi should be on the debate stage; Saagar Enjeti: Has the media given Biden a pass? MORE’s (D-Hawaii) campaign said in a statement, noting she has exceeded 2 percent support in 26 national and early state polls but that only two of those are on DNC's “certified” list. 

Candidates have until Wednesday to qualify for the debate stage. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenEric Holder: Democrats 'have to understand' that 'borders mean something' Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Biden says he'll release medical records before primaries MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCastro attack shines spotlight on Biden's age CNN, NY Times to host next Democratic debate in October Poll: College students say Warren won third Democratic debate MORE (N.J.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOn The Money: Democratic candidates lay into Trump on trade | China exempts US soybeans, pork from tariff hikes | Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Saagar Enjeti rips Harris's 'empty promises' Overnight Defense: Afghanistan tops foreign policy issues at Dem debate | Erdogan says he'll discuss missile sale with Trump | US again challenges Beijing's claim to South China Sea MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris keeps up 'little dude' attack on Trump after debate The crosshairs of extremism  On The Money: Democratic candidates lay into Trump on trade | China exempts US soybeans, pork from tariff hikes | Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure MORE (Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOn The Money: Democratic candidates lay into Trump on trade | China exempts US soybeans, pork from tariff hikes | Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Overnight Energy: Harris goes after DOJ antitrust probe of automakers over emissions | Trump on energy-efficient light bulbs: 'I always look orange' | Climate change only briefly discussed in third presidential debate CNN, NY Times to host next Democratic debate in October MORE (Minn.), former Texas Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke: Texans have told me they're fine giving up their AR-15s Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers ramp up Silicon Valley antitrust probe | Treasury sanctions North Korean cyber groups | Thiel to host Kobach fundraiser Tomi Lahren apologizes for 'way remarks came out' on border, Second Amendment MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Biden's debate performance renews questions of health Saagar Enjeti rips Harris's 'empty promises' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Biden's debate performance renews questions of health On The Money: Democratic candidates lay into Trump on trade | China exempts US soybeans, pork from tariff hikes | Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure MORE (Mass.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangOn The Money: Democratic candidates lay into Trump on trade | China exempts US soybeans, pork from tariff hikes | Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Saagar Enjeti rips Harris's 'empty promises' Overnight Defense: Afghanistan tops foreign policy issues at Dem debate | Erdogan says he'll discuss missile sale with Trump | US again challenges Beijing's claim to South China Sea MORE have all hit both thresholds.

Updated at 5:35 p.m.