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 BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (D-Calif.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE, finance executive Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerKrystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Steyer scores endorsement from key New Hampshire activist Excitement over Bloomberg's trial balloon should concern Democrats MORE, businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangWilliamson announces poverty plan with support for universal basic income, minimum wage The Hill's Morning Report - Diplomats kick off public evidence about Trump, Ukraine Outsider candidates outpoll insider candidates MORE, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerGOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' Booker on Erdoğan: We should not be 'rolling out the red carpet for a ruthless authoritarian' The Hill's Morning Report - Diplomats kick off public evidence about Trump, Ukraine MORE (D-N.J.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal Google sparks new privacy fears over health care data 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.
 
 
-- Updated at 11:03 a.m.