DNC toughens qualification criteria for December debate

DNC toughens qualification criteria for December debate
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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday announced tougher criteria for the sixth primary debate set to take place in December, a move that is likely to further winnow the field of presidential candidates who will be on stage.

To qualify for the Dec. 19 debate, White House hopefuls must meet one of two polling thresholds: 4 percent support in at least four polls, either national surveys or statewide polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada; or 6 percent support in two single-state surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.

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The new standards exceed the polling criteria for the November debate, which required candidates register at least 3 percent in four or more qualifying polls or 5 percent in two single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.

Qualifying polls for December must be sponsored by one of 16 designated media and polling entities and meet other specific criteria, including release dates between Oct. 16 and Dec. 12.

In addition, candidates must receive contributions from at least 200,000 unique donors, as well as a minimum of 800 unique donors per state in at least 20 states, U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.

The criteria for the November debate requires candidates amass support from at least 165,000 unique donors, including a minimum of 600 donors per state in at least 20 states.

The qualifying deadline for the December debate is Dec. 12.

The DNC also announced that PBS Newshour and Politico will be co-hosting the December debate.
 
The DNC has gradually tightened its criteria for the debates, requiring candidates to demonstrate wider support to make it to the stage.
 
The first two debates, in June and July, featured 20 candidates each spread across four nights. But only 10 candidates made it to the September debate, while 12 made it to this month's debate after the polling and fundraising criteria were tightened.
 
So far, nine candidates have qualified for the November debate: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenKavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law Biden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisKavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law 'CON laws' limit the health care competition Biden aims to deliver JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians MORE (D-Calif.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary The Hill's Morning Report - High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries MORE, finance executive Tom SteyerTom SteyerOvernight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline Six things to watch as California heads for recall election MORE, businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Kings launch voting rights effort honoring John Lewis Eric Adams to meet with Biden on curbing gun violence MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerKavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE (D-N.J.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Competition laws could be a death knell for startup mergers and acquisitions MORE (D-Minn.).
 
Failure to qualify for the debates has contributed to the decision by some candidates to drop out of the race, because absence from the stages took away chances to introduce themselves to primary voters and further hurt their fundraising.
 
Earlier this year, more than two dozen contenders were in the race, one of the largest fields ever. There are now 18 candidates.
 
Among those who have dropped out are New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYC George Floyd statue to be relocated after vandalism On The Money: Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' | Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag De Blasio urges NYC businesses to require coronavirus vaccines MORE, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Clean power repurposes dirty power Senators hail 'historic changes' as competing proposals to tackle military sexual assault advance Overnight Defense: Military justice overhaul included in defense bill | Pentagon watchdog to review security of 'nuclear football' | Pentagon carries out first air strike in Somalia under Biden MORE (D-N.Y.), and most recently, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanSix takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer MORE (D-Ohio).
 
-- Updated at 11:03 a.m.