UPDATED, 6:38 PM: The Democratic National Committe said today that the third set of Democratic presidential primary debates will be held in Houston. Details on the format, venue, moderators and start times are TBA.
The news comes the same day a new candidate, billionaire Tom Steyer, entered the crowded field and a day after the first contender dropped out — that being California Congressman Eric Swalwell. Steyer’s involvement in the next set of debates, hosted by CNN and set for July 30 and 31 in Detroit, is unclear pending his qualifying for either field. (Read the DNC’s updated criteria below.)
“As the nation’s most diverse city, Houston is the perfect place for the Democratic Party’s third debate,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said today. “Like the people of Texas, our candidates come from all kinds of backgrounds, and are all united by their deeply held values. We’ve seen firsthand in Texas that organizing everywhere through the Texas Democratic Party has led to victories all across the state, including flipping a dozen state House seats and making the state more competitive than it has been in decades. Houston is the perfect place to showcase our candidates so that they can share their vision for a better future for the American people.”
The primetime debate will be seen live on ABC and on Univision with Spanish translation, as well as on ABC News Live streaming channel. Location was not announced.
NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo are hosting Debate No. 1, on June 26 and 27 in Miami. CNN is hosting the second debate on July 30 and 31 in Detroit.
And, memo from the DNC to the 23 Dem 2020 hopefuls: Too many. The committee has set tougher rules to qualify for the ABC-broadcast debate than for NBC/Telemundo’s and CNN’s.
Candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada. Each poll submitted must be publicly released between June 28 and Aug. 28 and be must be sponsored by one or more organizations approved by DNC.
To meet the grassroots fundraising threshold, candidates must have pulled in donations from at least 130,000 unique donors, and must include at least 400 unique donors per state in a minimum of 20 states.
That’s bad for the number of Democratic candidates already struggling to meet the qualifying threshold for NBC and CNN Dem debates, in June and July, for which they need just 1% or more support in four national or early state polls, or donations from at least 65,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 unique donors in 20 states.
Here is what each candidate needs to qualify for the September debates, per the DNC:
Candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada. Each poll submitted must be publicly released between June 28 and Aug. 28 and be must be sponsored by one or more of the following organizations approved by the DNC: The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, the Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and Winthrop University.
Any candidate’s four qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations or — if by the same organization — must be in different geographical areas. And each poll must be publicly released between June 28 and August 28.
Each poll’s candidate support question must have been conducted by reading or presenting a list of Democratic presidential primary candidates to respondents, according to the DNC. Poll questions using an open-ended or unaided question to gauge presidential primary support will not count. Each polling result must be the top-line number listed in the original public release from the approved sponsoring organization/institution, whether or not it is a rounded or weighted number.
To meet the grassroots fundraising threshold, candidates must have received donations from at least 130,000 unique donors over the course of the election cycle, with a minimum of 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. Qualifying donations must be received by the DNC by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 28.
Candidates who do not meet both the polling and grassroots fundraising thresholds will not qualify for the debates.