10 Democrats Set for Houston Debate As Several Others Miss Cut
WASHINGTON —Ten Democratic presidential candidates have qualified to appear in the next debate, guaranteeing for the first time this election cycle that the front-runners in the contest will finally come face-to-face in a one-night event.
The next debate, sponsored by ABC News and the Spanish-language network Univision, will be held at Texas Southern University on Sept. 12.
The winnowing of the field onstage during the debate is expected to have a similar effect on the presidential race as well.
Hours ahead of the midnight Wednesday deadline for candidates to qualify, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the race after spending more than $4 million on a campaign that never gained traction.
Billionaire climate change activist Tom Steyer, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and self-help guru Marianne Williamson were also among those missing September’s debate, as were Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
To appear on stage in Houston next month, candidates had to hit 2% in at least four approved public opinion polls while securing 130,000 unique donors.
Two new polls released Wednesday affirmed that they were all below the threshold.
Making the cut were former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
In defending the DNC’s requirements to appear in the debate, Democratic Party spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said, “We believe you need to show progress in your campaign.
“There hasn’t been one candidate in 40 years who has polled under 2% the fall ahead of a primary and has gone on to be the Democratic nominee,” she said.
Although not making the debate is considered a potentially debilitating blow to the candidates who didn’t make the cut, several have nonetheless vowed to continue on in hopes of making the stage in the next debate, slated for October.
Steyer, a late entry in the presidential contest, was the closest to qualifying but acknowledged Wednesday night that he had fallen short.
In a tweet to supporters he said while he’s disappointed he won’t be on the debate stage in Houston, “I’m excited by all the support you’ve shown us.”
“We started this campaign to get corporate influence out of politics, and I won’t stop fighting until the government belongs to the people again,” Steyer said.
Marianne Williamson, who only reached 2% support in one of the 4 polls she needed to qualify, responded on Twitter with a fundraising appeal.
“While I didn’t make the 4 polls at 2% which would have gotten me into the 3rd DNC debate, I have until Oct. to make it into the 4th one,” she said. “Please donate now to help us build the campaign and increase our exposure.”
A number of the candidates who did not make the stage for the third debate complained that the DNC favored the frontrunners in establishing its qualifying threshold.
But the race’s early front-runner, Joe Biden, said he would like the field to get even smaller.
“I’m looking forward to getting to the place, assuming I’m still around, that it gets down to a smaller number of people so we can have more of a discussion instead of one-minute assertions,” he told the Associated Press while campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
In The News
Efforts to speedily develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. won't be derailed by a change in administration, said the head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's program aimed at accelerating a COVID-19 jab. "All decisions are made, the train is running. Whether one administration... Read More
MILWAUKEE — Joe Biden made his case Thursday for a major course correction in America as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination, forcefully indicting the Trump administration as he laid out a vision to reunify the nation and restore competence and decency to the White House.... Read More
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump scored a tactical victory from the Supreme Court that will likely keep his personal financial records out of public view through the November election, but he framed Thursday’s two rulings as a loss imposed by his enemies. The president was rebuffed... Read More
SEATTLE — When a mysterious virus began racing around the globe early this year, scientists at the University of Washington’s newly created Center for an Informed Public described it as the perfect storm for bogus information, both innocent and malicious. So what’s the situation six months... Read More
Proxy voting has been extended through mid-August in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday. House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving, in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician, notified Pelosi that the public health emergency due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic remains ongoing. “I... Read More
WASHINGTON – A group of influential Democratic Senators are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deny a confirmation vote of President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacant United States appeals court seat. The legislators appealed to McConnell in a letter after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved... Read More