Are you ready to start talking about the next debate?
The Democratic candidates are, as you probably know from the frenzy of fundraising pitches you are seeing on your Facebook feed.
Particularly for the lesser-known ones, the challenge of staying on the debate stage is about to get much tougher. The Democratic National Committee has set the qualification for the mid-September showdown in Houston higher. By August 28, candidates must have gotten contributions from at least 130,000 individual donors and register at least 2 percent in four polls. This is significantly higher than the either-or test to get into the first two debates: 1 percent in three polls or 65,000 donors.
So far, eight candidates have been guaranteed spots in the Houston debate. They are pretty much who you would expect: former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former congressman Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
A host of polls will be coming out soon, and just a little bit of buzz from the debate might be enough to make some of the lower-tier candidates register. Building a base of contributors is doable as well — but only if a campaign already has the money to troll for people who will contribute $1 apiece.
Next week, pretty much the entire field will descend on Iowa, as will much of the national political press corps. The candidates will be looking not only for a preseason boost going into the February caucuses but also a way to catch some attention that could get them closer to the debate threshold.
For those who fall short, the time for a serious reckoning will be at hand. There are a couple — John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, and Steve Bullock, the current governor of Montana — who might want to give some further thoughts to switching their energies to Senate races. And for others, it will simply be a question of facing reality.
— Karen Tumulty
|Position||Challenger||Change Over Last Ranking|
|2.||Elizabeth Warren||UP 1|
|3.||Kamala D. Harris||DOWN 1|
|5.||Cory Booker||UP 1|
|6.||Pete Buttigieg||DOWN 1|
|7.||Julián Castro||UP 2|
|8.||Amy Klobuchar||DOWN 1|
|9.||Andrew Yang||UP 5|
|10.||Beto O’Rourke||DOWN 2|
|11. (TIE)||Michael Bennet||DOWN 1|
|11. (TIE)||Tom Steyer||—|
|13. (TIE)||John Delaney||RETURNS TO RANKING|
|13. (TIE)||Tulsi Gabbard||ADDS TO RANKING|
|13. (TIE)||Tim Ryan||DOWN 1|
Falls off ranking: Jay Inslee, Seth Moulton
Also receiving votes: Steve Bullock, Inslee, John Hickenlooper, Moulton, Marianne Williamson
Last week’s ranking: Round 25 | If Biden is toast, why’s he still so far ahead?
Don’t forget to click on the yellow highlighted text above to expand the Ranking Committee’s annotations. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next ranking. Until then, good luck picking your dollar candidate.
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