CNN Announces Moderators for Next Democrat Debate

Wolf Blitzer of CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer attends the WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 arrivals on the red carpet at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2019 in New York City. 602140 (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Abby Phillip, and the Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel will moderate the upcoming Democrat debate in Iowa, the network announced on Wednesday.

CNN announced the three moderators — Blitzer, Phillip, and Pfannenstiel — for the January 14 debate, which will take place at Drake University at 9 p.m. ET.

Only five candidates have qualified for the debate: Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D).

In order to qualify, a candidate must see at least 225,000 unique donors and garner five percent in four Democratic National Committee (DNC)-approved national or early-state polls or seven percent support in two early state polls.

While Andrew Yang (D), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Tom Steyer (D) have met the donor threshold, all of them fall short in the polls. Yang only has one qualifying poll, Steyer has two, and Booker has none.

DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson defended the increasingly tough polling thresholds in a statement to Politico.

“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,” Watson said.

“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 continued.

Candidates have until January 10 to meet the requirements.

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