There will be a lot of candidates sharing the stage at the next Democratic debate – for one night only.
The Democratic National Committee confirmed that its next debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 and hosted by CNN, will not be split over two nights as has been done earlier in the campaign season.
There had been some speculation that the fourth Democratic debate would again be split over two nights if more than 10 candidates surpassed the qualification threshold.
The debate will take place on the campus of Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, with CNN’s Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper as moderators along the Marc Lacey, national editor of The New York Times.
With 20 candidates qualifying for the first two debates, held in June and July, the DNC split each event into two nights, with 10 candidates assigned randomly for each night.
But the third debate, held earlier this month and hosted by ABC News and Univision, was held on just a single night, after the DNC toughened its qualification criteria and fewer candidates qualified. Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro and Andrew Yang made the stage.
Those 10 candidates also qualify for the October debate, and two other contenders, Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard, have said that they have passed the polling and contribution thresholds to make it in. That brings the total to 12 on stage. Candidates must reach at least 2% support in four DNC-approved polls and have at least 130,000 unique donors.
A DNC official indicated to CNN that they were satisfied that one night worked well at the most recent debate as a way to expand viewership.
The deadline to qualify is October 1, so DNC plans could still change, but right now it looks like the stage will include a dozen presidential hopefuls.