The Democratic National Committee’s new and more stringent rules for the next round of debates has cut the number of candidates on stage in half.
Last May, the Democratic party announced that candidates had to reach higher polling and donor thresholds than they needed to qualify for the first two debates. To meet the donor threshold, candidates must have 130,000 individual donors with at least 400 in twenty different states. To meet the polling threshold, they need to have reached 2% in four qualifying polls — either nationally or in South Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, or New Hampshire — by August 28.
After failing to meet the requirements, John Hickenlooper, Seth Moulton, Jay Inslee, and Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out which narrowed the field to a total of 20 candidates. So far, and with only hours until the qualifying window closes, only ten have qualified: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.
If just one more candidate qualified, the candidates would have been split into two groups to debate separately on September 12 and 13. The first two debates featured twenty candidates spread across two nights. With only ten qualifying candidates for this debate, though, September 12 will be the first Democratic debate of the primary season confined to just one night.
ABC’s Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” Anchor and Managing Editor David Muir, ABC Correspondent Linsey Davis, and Univision Anchor Jorge Ramo will host the debate together. Each candidate will have a minute and fifteen seconds to respond to questions, and 45 seconds to respond to rebuttals.
ABC, which will be hosting the third round of debates with Univision, announced that the debates will take place at Texas Southern University, a historically black university in Houston, Texas. Viewers can watch the debates on ABC, Univision which will offer a Spanish translation, ABC News Live, and Houston’s local news station KTRK-TV. ABC News Live is accessible on YouTube, HULU Live, Facebook Watch, The Roku Channel, AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple News, Twitter, as well as ABC’s website and apps.