Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is insisting to the Democratic National Committee that he has qualified for the upcoming presidential debate, despite the panel’s likely disagreement.

“Governor Bullock has met the threshold for qualification for the first debate,” his campaign manager, Jenn Ridder, wrote in a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez, which was first obtained by Politico, which notes that the DNC “likely disputes” that assessment.

DNC rules state that candidates can qualify for the debate in one of two ways: either by showing they have a sufficient number of donors in different states, or by winning at least 1 percent of the vote in three polls taken by approved organizations. 

Bullock’s campaign cites one poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post last January. The survey question was open-ended, meaning voters were not given a list of names, and had to name a candidate themselves. Last week, the DNC told Politico that open-ended polls would not be allowed for qualification.

Politico notes that the initial rules put forth by the DNC listed both ABC News and the Washington Post as qualified sources for polls, and made no mention of not allowing open-ended surveys.

Ridder continued, “Since there is no sufficient warrant to exclude such a poll in either of the original rules or in the Polling Method Certification form promulgated by the DNC this week, the poll meets the DNC requirements and is valid. As such, Governor Bullock has met the threshold to qualify for the first debates and he looks forward to joining his colleagues on the stage for this important occasion.”

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