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 SteyerTom SteyerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary 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 GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 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 BidenTrump renews culture war, putting GOP on edge Atlanta mayor says she has tested positive for COVID-19 Trump downplaying sparks new criticism of COVID-19 response MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenators push foreign media to disclose if they are registered as foreign agents Joe Biden must release the results of his cognitive tests — voters need to know GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday MORE (N.J.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump wants schools to reopen, challenged on 'harmless' COVID-19 remark Judd Gregg: The coming Biden coup Susan Rice sees stock rise in Biden VP race MORE (Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: QAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem | Supreme Court upholds regulation banning robocalls to cellphones | Foreign hackers take aim at homebound Americans | Uber acquires Postmates Senate Democrats urge Pompeo to ensure Americans living overseas can vote in November The Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages MORE (Minn.), former Texas Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeColorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset Clinton, Buttigieg among Democrats set to hold virtual events for Biden Redistricting: 'The next decade of our democracy is on the ballot' in November MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMilitary madness in the age of COVID-19 Will Twitter make @RealDonaldTrump a one-term president? Judd Gregg: The coming Biden coup MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTrump criticizes Redskins, Indians over potential name changes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump wants schools to reopen, challenged on 'harmless' COVID-19 remark Judd Gregg: The coming Biden coup MORE (Mass.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangBiden campaign to take over 'Supernatural' star's Instagram for interview Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night MORE have all hit both thresholds.

Updated at 5:35 p.m.