Qualifying candidates for October Democratic presidential debate announced


The Democratic presidential debate Sept. 12 was the first to feature all 10 polling leaders on the same stage. The debate Tuesday featured the top 12 polling candidates.

Lauren Ratliff

A total of twelve candidates made the cut for the October Democratic presidential debate, set for Oct. 15. 

To qualify for the October debate, candidates needed to receive at least 2 percent support in four Democratic National Committee (DNC)-approved qualifying national primary polls, or polls of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina between June 28 and Oct. 1. In addition to fulfilling the polling criteria, candidates also needed to receive at least 130,000 unique donations from at least 400 unique donors in at least 20 different states.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris, businessman Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, businessman Tom Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard all qualified for the October debate and will appear onstage together.

Those 12 candidates set to appear on the debate stage Oct. 15 will make for the largest primary debate stage in American history, but it may decrease in size moving forward.

Qualifying for the November debate is more difficult than the October debate. As of Tuesday, only five candidates appear to have qualified. Candidates must receive at least 165,000 unique donations from 600 donors in at least 20 different states.

The polling threshold has also gone up, increasing from 2 percent support to 3 percent or higher in four different DNC-approved polls. Candidates can also meet the polling criteria by reaching 5 percent support in two DNC-approved polls of the four aforementioned states.

The five candidates who have qualified for the November debate are Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg and Harris.