The Marianne Williamson campaign released a statement saying the DNC is using only 11 polls, not the promised 18, to determine a candidate’s debate qualifications.
The third round of Democratic debates is set to take place on Sept. 12 in Houston. In order to qualify, candidates must garner 130,000 unique donors from at least 20 different states and average 2% in four qualifying polls.
The cutoff date to qualify for the third round of debates is Aug. 28.
The Democratic National Committee uses the following 18 polls to determine whether a candidate will qualify for the third and fourth debate stages: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Quinnipiac University, Reuters, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and Winthrop University.
According to FiveThirtyEight, only 11 of these 18 polls have released presidential polling data since the DNC announced the criteria in February 2019.
The following polls have yet to release presidential poll data:
- Associated Press
- CBS News
- Las Vegas Review-Journal
- New York Times
- National Public Radio (NPR)
- USA Today
- Winthrop University
“If the DNC had followed the process they announced in February and kept to the promised 17 [sic] qualifying polls, the lineup of the upcoming third debate might be very different,” Williamson’s communications director, Patricia Ewing, said in the press release.
Ewing could be right. With increased polling data, candidates such as Williamson, Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, and Kirsten Gillibrand may have wiggled their way into the third debate.
The qualifications for the fourth debate remain the same, however. The 10 candidates who have already qualified for the third debate must maintain their 2% polling average in order to qualify for the fourth. The number of candidates participating in the fourth debate could actually be larger than the third.
For instance, Steyer was only one poll short of making the third debate. He has already hit the 130,000 required unique donors. Gabbard and Williamson have also hit the threshold of required donors and are waiting on new or updated polling data.
If the seven polls that have yet to release presidential poll data release numbers in time for the fourth debate, the number of candidates participating could expand from 10 to 14.