DNC raises thresholds for January debate

DNC raises thresholds for January debate
© Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised the qualification requirements for the January primary debate, despite calls from candidates to lower standards.

To qualify for the Jan. 14 debate, candidates need at least 5 percent support in at least four approved polls that can be either national or based in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada. Polls must be sponsored by different entities or be based on different geographical areas if conducted by the same organization and will need to be released between Nov. 14 of this year and Jan. 10, 2020.

Candidates can also meet the polling requirement by receiving at least 7 percent support in two single-state polls in the first four primary or caucus states. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Candidates will also need 225,000 unique donors and at least 1,000 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states, territories, or Washington, D.C. 

The criteria has been toughened despite calls from 2020 candidates led by Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats' Obama-to-Sanders shift on charter schooling This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Juan Williams: Black votes matter MORE (D-N.J.) to lower standards to allow a more diverse slate of candidates to make the debate stage.

The debate held on Thursday night featured almost exclusively white candidates, with businessman Andrew YangAndrew Yang6 ways the primary fight is toughening up Democrats for the fall general election The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Yang calls on someone to 'pull an Andrew Yang' and bow out of 2020 race MORE the only person of color among the seven participants. It was the smallest gathering out of the six Democratic primary debates so far.

To make Thursday's debate in Los Angeles, candidates needed to hit at least 4 percent support in four approved polls or 6 percent support in two early-state polls and needed at least 200,000 donors.

Among the candidates who failed to make the stage in California were Booker as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardBiden leads by 18 points in South Carolina: poll Buttigieg notes diversity on debate stage: We're '7 white people talking about racial justice' Sanders grows lead in new Hill/HarrisX poll MORE (D-Hawaii).

The January event will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, and will be hosted by the DNC, CNN and the Des Moines Register.

It will be held just days before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus that will mark the first time ballots are cast in the Democratic primary race.