The Democratic National Committee has announced which candidates have met their threshold for participating in the party’s first presidential primary debate later this month — and who will not be taking the stage.
What are the details?
Twenty candidates were able to show enough polling success to join the lineup: Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.); former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; former Rep. John Delaney (Md.); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii); Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.); Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.); former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.); former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio); Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.); Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.); businesswoman Marianne Williamson; and businessman Andrew Yang.
The first debate will take place in Miami, with 10 candidates appearing on June 26 and the remainder participating the following night. The lineups for who will appear on stage which evening have not yet been determined, but the contenders with the highest polling averages will be split between the two nights to avoid any perceptions of there being a “junior” debate, according to the Hill.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the DNC said three candidates did not make the cut: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.), and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam. The Hill noted a fourth candidate, former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska), will also be left out.
A number of struggling Democratic candidates complained about the DNC’s requirements for debate qualification ahead of Thursday’s announcement. One of them was Bullock, whose campaign made a last-ditch effort for inclusion by sending a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez (obtained by Politico) declaring he had, indeed, met the threshold for participation.
Meanwhile, Moulton appears to be taking the news of his omission in stride. The congressman told supporters in an email obtained by the Hill, “I knew that getting in the race so late there was a strong chance I’d miss the first debate — and yes, I will. But fear not! I’m not losing any sleep over it, and neither should you.”
He added, “This race is a marathon, not a sprint. At this point in the 2016 presidential campaign, Jeb Bush was leading in the Republican primary. Ben Carson was in second. And Donald Trump hadn’t even announced his candidacy yet.”