DNC Tightens Eligibility Requirements for January Debate

Illustration for article titled DNC Tightens Eligibility Requirements for January Debate
Photo: Win McNamee (Getty Images)

The debate field might be getting a little less crowded next month as the DNC announced new requirements for getting on the stage.


CBS News reports that for candidates to appear at the January 14 debate they must reach 5% in at least four national polls or 7% in two polls in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Additionally, the campaigns must also have at least 225,000 unique donors. Last Thursday’s debate, the final of 2019, was the first this cycle to feature fewer than 10 candidates.

According to ABC News, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg are the five candidates who have already met the new requirement. This leaves Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro left.

Personally, I don’t see what is gained with these new requirements. It feels like the DNC is artificially thinning the heard and unfortunately, this has led to the debate field getting smaller and, well, whiter. The debates are a good platform to allow each politician to state their case to the American public. Tightening the requirements is taking away choice from the general population and instead weighing it on a couple of states. The whole reason we have 45 is because there was non-stop media coverage of everything he did. Some of the lower tracking candidates could have a message that resonates with a large swath of the country they just haven’t been given the best platform.

It feels less like the people are given the option to make an informed choice and more like the choice is being made for us by the overwhelmingly white state of Iowa. While it’s unfortunate the media plays such a huge role in what we determine is electable, it’s a fact that can’t be ignored. If 2016 should have taught us anything, it’s that anyone can become President if they’re on TV long enough.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.



I disagree with the writer of this article on the premise that ‘thinning the herd’ is a bad thing.
Listen at this point in the game... if you haven’t gained that type of support across the board. Thank you for playing, please take the increased exposure and knowledge a few hundred thousand more folks heard something you said as a lovely parting gift.
I do agree this is making the field much less diverse, however the question here is, do you want diversity or unity?
Also, while everyone is focused on getting the Cheeto Orange coloured Menace out of the WH, the real races we should be focused on are the Senate. Punish ANY Congressperson for voting for party over justice. Put the pressure on every “I’m Independent but I usually lean Republican “ to truly look at what is happening to this country and how their votes from the past are abdicating authority to the WH, because of the magical letter next to their name.