DNC makes it harder to qualify for January debate

The Democratic National Committee raised the bar on Friday for the next presidential debate. If candidates want to appear on the stage January 14, they will need to prove higher poll numbers, and more donors, than at any time throughout this election cycle.

It will be the first debate of 2020 and the final one before the Iowa Caucuses.

Candidates must reach 5% in at least four polls, or 7% in two polls in the early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada. The polls need to have taken place between November 14 and January 10. The campaigns also must have 225,000 unique donors. 

The requirements come the day after the final debate of 2019, which featured fewer than 10 candidates for the first time this election cycle. The seven presidential hopefuls — Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang — sparred over issues ranging from health care to money in politics. 

The tougher requirements are likely to exclude candidates who failed to meet them for Thursday’s debate, including Cory Booker and Julián Castro, and potentially some who qualified for it. Candidates needed to reach 4% in the polls and have 200,000 unique donors.

The deadline for qualifying for the debate is January 10 at 11:59 p.m. It will be held in Iowa and hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register. 

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