New standards eliminate Tulsi Gabbard from next Democratic debate
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday announced new qualifying standards for the upcoming Arizona debate that will leave only the top two contenders on stage.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) did not meet the single qualifying factor: earning at least 20 percent of the delegates awarded as of March 15.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden are the only candidates who have qualified for the debate, which will be hosted by CNN and Univision on March 15 in Phoenix.
Gabbard has not qualified for a debate since November under previous standards from the DNC.
The Arizona debate will have the fewest candidates on stage since the beginning of the crowded primary, when two nights were needed in late June to accommodate all of the White House hopefuls.
The debate that immediately preceded Super Tuesday had seven candidates participating, five of whom are no longer in the race.
Gabbard has two of the 1,385 delegates awarded. Those delegates are from American Samoa, which former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg won on Super Tuesday before dropping out and endorsing Biden.
Six states are set to vote on Tuesday, including Michigan, the biggest electoral prize of the night. It is highly unlikely Gabbard will meet the 20 percent delegate threshold after Tuesday’s elections.
The Gabbard campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Updated at 4:18 p.m.