DNC announces Oct. 15 date for debate

DNC announces Oct. 15 date for debate
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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Saturday it will hold its fourth presidential primary debate on Oct. 15 in Ohio.

The DNC will hold a second night for the debate on Oct. 16 if more than 10 candidates qualify. The event’s specific location in the Buckeye State has yet to be announced. 

The DNC's announcement that the fourth debate will be held in Ohio comes as the party works to regain lost ground in the Rust Belt. President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE won Ohio, a traditional swing state, by about 8 points in 2016.

“We're excited to partner with the DNC to bring the next sanctioned presidential debate to Ohio,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper in a statement. “As is happening across the nation, Democrats are energized, formerly Republican suburbs are trending blue and voters across the state are waking up to Donald Trump’s many broken promises. Those are some of the numerous reasons that the president's approval numbers in Ohio have tumbled 20 points since he took office.”

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Candidates will have to garner 130,000 unique donors and hit 2 percent in four DNC-approved polls to qualify for the debate. Those are the same thresholds for the debate slated for next month.

The 10 Democrats who have already hit the two thresholds for the September debate stage automatically qualify for the October event.

Candidates who fall short for the September event could still qualify for the October debate, with the deadline to hit the donor and polling marks falling two weeks before Oct. 15.

Of the 10 candidates who have failed to make the stage in September, billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerTom SteyerProgressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Candidates want data privacy rules, except for their own campaigns Budowsky: Biden should pull together a 'dream team of rivals' MORE is the closest to qualifying, needing only one more survey that meets the DNC's threshold after meeting the donor criteria. Steyer has yet to make any of the debates after launching his presidential campaign shortly before the July debate.

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order The Hill's Morning Report — ,000,000,000,000: GOP unveils historic US rescue effort Gillibrand endorses Biden for president MORE (D-Hawaii), who also met the donor requirement, needs two more surveys. She made the stage in the previous two debates.

But the pressure is on for candidates to boost their efforts to qualify for the October event, as missing out on back-to-back debates could make it even harder to climb in the polls or attract new donors.