Harris becomes fifth candidate to qualify for December presidential debate

Harris becomes fifth candidate to qualify for December presidential debate
© Getty Images

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNavarro rips 'dimwit' Trump Jr. on 'The View' for COVID-19 and obesity tweet Do progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Biden, Harris push big lie about Border Patrol MORE (D-Calif.) will join at least four other Democratic presidential hopefuls on the debate stage in December after notching 4 percent in a new national poll released Sunday.

To make the December debate, candidates have to amass the support of at least 200,000 unique donors and register 4 percent or more in four qualifying polls or 6 percent in two approved early voting state polls.

Prior to Sunday, Harris had met the donor threshold, but remained one qualifying poll away. That changed, however, after an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Sunday morning showed her at 4 percent, an analysis of donor and polling data shows.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ian Sams, a spokesman for Harris’s campaign, confirmed to The Hill that the California senator qualified for the December debate, which is set to take place in Los Angeles on Dec. 19.

So far, four other candidates have qualified for the December debate: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn defense of share buybacks Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo In Washington, the road almost never taken MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDo progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case In defense of share buybacks MORE (I-Vt.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDo progressives prefer Trump to compromise? DOJ sues to block JetBlue-American Airlines partnership On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda MORE.

The debate qualification is welcome news for Harris, who has struggled in recent months to maintain the momentum she gained after a standout performance in the first Democratic debate in June.

Her campaign announced last week that it would lay off some staff from its headquarters in Baltimore and redeploy others to Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state that Harris is betting on to keep her 2020 ambitions alive.

The December debate could include significantly fewer candidates than other debates this year. 

In addition to the five candidates who have qualified for the event, only two other candidates have met the 200,000-donor threshold set by the Democratic National Committee, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook This week: Democrats face mounting headaches MORE (D-Minn.) and former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangYang's new party will be called 'The Forward Party' Andrew Yang planning to launch third party: report Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE. Both still need to meet the polling requirement if they hope to be on the debate stage next month.

Rachel Frazin contributed.