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 BidenThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Surging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada Bloomberg to do interview with Al Sharpton MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill The Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHouse to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE (D-Calif.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration Surging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada MORE, finance executive Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerSurging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter split on Bloomberg video | Sanders briefed on Russian efforts to help campaign | Barr to meet with Republicans ahead of surveillance fight The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada MORE, businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangCalifornia state lawmaker introduces bill to create universal basic income of K a month Hillicon Valley: Intel officials warned lawmakers Russia interfering in 2020 | Pompeo condemns Russian cyberattack on country of Georgia | Tech activists see Kickstarter union as breakthrough | Pentagon agency suffers data breach Manhattan DA investigating new abuse claims against doctor accused by Evelyn Yang MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dem anxiety grows ahead of Super Tuesday House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge MORE (D-N.J.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration Surging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada 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 BlasioNew York attorney general threatens to sue NYC over alleged taxi fraud Bloomberg compared civil libertarians, teachers union to NRA 'extremists' in 2013: report De Blasio endorses Sanders for president MORE, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandNow is the time for a US data protection agency The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate Ginsburg, accepting lifetime achievement award, urges working fathers to take an active role in kids' lives MORE (D-N.Y.), and most recently, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' Democrats walk out of Trump's address: 'It's like watching professional wrestling' Trump set to confront his impeachment foes MORE (D-Ohio).
 
-- Updated at 11:03 a.m.