The debates are scheduled for two nights, June 26 and 27th, and the DNC will cap the number of candidates at 20. Candidates have until Wednesday to prove they’ve made the debate stage. Another debate will be held over two nights, July 30 and 31.
How to qualify for the debate: It is an either/or scenario. You either must have 65,000 people donate to you from across 20 states OR you receive 1 percent of support in three polls the DNC deems as qualified. Those rules are actually quite inclusive, but a last-minute rule change on which kinds of polls count has cut Bullock out of the field.
Of the 23 major candidates running, 20 appeared to have made the debate, according to a Fix analysis and campaign statements, and three will probably miss it. We will update this list.
Who’s missing the debate stage as of now: 3 candidates
1. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock: The big-name governor and chair of the National Governors Association had qualified by polling, barely. But then the DNC decided not to count a Washington Post-ABC News poll that gave Bullock 1 percent because it asked people an open-ended question of whom they support rather than giving them a list of candidates. (The former is arguably harder for candidates to poll in, but the DNC said the poll also allowed voters to name people who aren’t even running.) Unless another, more traditional poll comes out between now and June 12 with him at 1 percent, Bullock is off the debate stage.
2. Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam: The little-known mayor is struggling to meet both the donations and polling threshold.
3. Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass): Moulton, like Bullock, is a recent entrant in the race and he has not cracked 1 percent in three polls nor has his campaign said they have reached the 65,000-donor threshold. Like the rest of this list, he could meet those qualifications in time for the July debate.
Who’s in but right on the bubble: 7 candidates
These eight candidates have qualified with one criteria, either polling or donations. Which means that if more than 20 make the debate stage, they could be cut. (To determine who gets cut, the DNC would average each of the below candidates’ highest showing in three qualified polls and rank the candidates from there.)
- Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.): Bennet’s campaign recently said he qualified for the June Democratic debate on polling though did not explicitly say he met the donor requirement, which means he could still be cut if there were a tie-breaker.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: The New York mayor announced his candidacy a month ago and confirmed to The Fix on Thursday he had qualified based on getting 1 percent in three polls.
- Former Maryland congressman John Delaney: Delaney, who has been in the race for more than two years, has made the polling requirement but is going hard on the donations. For every dollar donated to his campaign, he is offering to PAY $2 out of his own wallet to charity.
- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper: He reached the polling qualifications in March.
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: He qualified on polling in May, but his campaign has yet to announce he’s reached the donor qualification that would give him extra security.
- Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio): He appears to have qualified in polling, barely.
- Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.): He qualified by reaching 1 percent in at least three polls in late April.
Who’s definitely in: 13 candidates
If more than 20 make the debate stage, these 11 candidates will make the new cutoff because they have qualified on both polling and donations:
- Former vice president Joe Biden
- Sen. Cory Booker: After making a big push for donors this past month, the New Jersey senator celebrated by Face Timing with his 65,000th donor.
- South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg: Also, his name is pronounced BOOT-EDGE-EDGE.
- Former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: The congresswoman from Hawaii is one of the lesser-known names to be in this top tier of debate qualifiers.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.): After months of being right on the bubble, her campaign said Monday she had reached the requisite amount of donors. That plus her polling requirements means she’s safely on the debate stage. A top campaign official to Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) donated to her, saying her voice is needed on the debate stage in the wake of the Alabama abortion ban. (Hey, a donation is a donation, according to the rules.)
- Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.)
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)
- Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke: His campaign said he got money from twice as many donors as he needed within the first 24 hours of announcing his candidacy.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
- Marianne Williamson: The spiritual author was the only candidate to qualify on donors alone. But as of Thursday, she has qualified for the debate in polling as well by reaching 1 percent in there polls, securing her spot on the stage.
- Andrew Yang: Yang, a businessman, is another lesser-known name guaranteed a spot on the debate, though he has been drawing big crowds.
Who probably won’t make it: A lot of people
Mike Gravel: The 89-year-old senator from Alaska who last held office in 1981 got convinced by several teenagers to run to promote his antiwar ideas, though he is not actively campaigning. In an Instagram post in late April, Gravel’s campaign announced he is running to win.
The 141 other minor Democratic candidates running for president — yes, that many have filed their candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.