Accuracy in Media

The Democratic National Committee recently announced it raised the threshold for their sixth presidential debate, which will be held in December. The threshold will likely make it the smallest group to appear on stage.

The debate is scheduled for December 19, and will be hosted by Politico and PBS. Candidates must receive four percent support in at least four polls by the DNC or polls of primary voters nationally, or in early-voting states.

Candidates who wish to take the debate stage in December must also have six percent in two approved early-state polls and bring in donations from 200,000 unique donors.

Candidates must meet all these goals by December 12.

One may ask, why does this matter?

Not only does the new polling requirement for December endanger all but the top five candidates, but second-tier candidates face a major uphill battle to try and catch up to the top contenders.

The DNC has faced major backlash and criticism by middle and lower-tier candidates for months over continuing to up the requirements with little input from voters. In addition, the DNC has faced the same criticism from activists stating that “the job of narrowing the field belongs to the voters in the early-voting states rather than with national party leaders.”

This weekend Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post noted it would be “quite possible that a serious candidate such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D.Minn.), who has been moving up in the polls and has a major ground operation in Iowa, might not make the debate.”

Rubin noted what many activists and early voters have felt frustration with.

“The job of the DNC, it strikes me, is not to pick the top three or four finishers in the Iowa caucuses, it is to get to a reasonable number so that Iowa, and then New Hampshire, voters can make the first cut.”

DNC Chairman Tom Perez has continuously pushed back against vocal activists and lower-tier candidates, saying the process has been eminently fair and they are going to continue to be transparent.

The fifth debate (scheduled for November) already has nine candidates out of the remaining field of 17 candidates claiming they have hit the lower thresholds for making the fifth round debate.

  1. Former Vice President Joe Biden
  2. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
  3. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
  4. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
  5. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
  6. Amy Klobuchar
  7. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  8. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  9. Businessman Tom Steyer

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas are at serious risk of not qualifying to make the debate stage.


Marissa Martinez is the founder of Strategic Rush, contributor for Accuracy in Media, The Hill, and Republican Strategist for PACs and congressional candidates. @MarissaAlisa

Photo by marcn




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