Harris becomes fifth candidate to qualify for December presidential debate

Harris becomes fifth candidate to qualify for December presidential debate
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice First presidential debate to cover coronavirus, Supreme Court Harris joins women's voter mobilization event also featuring Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda 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.

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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 BidenOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHarris joins women's voter mobilization event also featuring Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda Judd Gregg: The Kamala threat — the Californiaization of America GOP set to release controversial Biden report MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Bernie Sanders warns of 'nightmare scenario' if Trump refuses election results Harris joins women's voter mobilization event also featuring Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda MORE (I-Vt.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Hillicon Valley: FBI, DHS warn that foreign hackers will likely spread disinformation around election results | Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day | Trump to meet with Republican state officials on tech liability shield Facebook takes down Chinese network targeting Philippines, Southeast Asia and the US 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 KlobucharSocial media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates MORE (D-Minn.) and former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangDoctor who allegedly assaulted Evelyn Yang arrested on federal charges The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden weighs in on police shootings | Who's moderating the debates | Trump trails in post-convention polls Buttigieg launches his own podcast MORE. Both still need to meet the polling requirement if they hope to be on the debate stage next month.

Rachel Frazin contributed.