Only five candidates have qualified for the January 14, CNN/Des Moines Register debate in Iowa, with just three days left to reach the Democrat National Committee’s (DNC) progressively stringent polling and donor requirements.
In order to qualify for the Iowa debate, a presidential hopeful must report 225,000 unique donors. Additionally, a candidate must either see at least five percent support in four qualifying national polls, or seven percent support in two DNC-approved early state polls.
The presidential hopefuls have until January 10 to reach the requirements. As of Tuesday morning, only five candidates met both requirements, qualifying for the debate. Those candidates are former Vice President Joe Biden (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D).
Andrew Yang (D), who stood as the only racially diverse candidate on stage during December’s debate, has yet to qualify for next week’s debate, only seeing five percent in one qualifying poll thus far. While Michael Bloomberg (D) has successfully reached five percent in at least five qualifying polls, his decision to self-fund his campaign will continue to disqualify him from the debates due to the donor requirements.
Tom Steyer (D) only has two qualifying polls, and the remaining candidates do not have any.
Despite bubbling complaints, the DNC is continuing to defend its requirements.
“The DNC has been more than inclusive throughout this entire process with an expansive list of qualifying polls, including 19 qualifying polls thus far for the January debate, 9 [of] which are state polls,” DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement, according to Politico.
“In addition, we have not only expanded the list [of] poll sponsors this cycle to include online polls, but we have expanded the qualifying period for the January debate to account for the holidays,” she added.