CNN reports, the winnowing’s got to start some time:
The Democratic National Committee will double the qualifying thresholds and require that 2020 candidates meet both in order to participate in the third and fourth primary debates, the committee announced Wednesday.
Candidates had to achieve 1% in three polls from an approved list of pollsters or receive campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from 20 different states, to qualify for the first Democratic primary debates in June, which will be hosted by NBC News, and the second set of debates in July, which will be hosted by CNN.
In order to qualify for the third and fourth set of debates in September and October respectively, candidates will now have to achieve 2% in four polls from a slightly changed list of approved pollsters and receive 130,000 unique donors (from the date of their campaign’s creation), including 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 US states.
As we discussed over the weekend, Gov. John Hickenlooper appears to have qualified to participate in the first round of Democratic presidential debates set for late June in Miami based on the required qualification of a 1% or better showing in three qualifying nationwide polls. The new higher standard announced today, however, will knock Hickenlooper off the debate stage unless he substantially improves his position between now and September. Sen. Michael Bennet remains focused on gaining enough support to qualify for the June debate. A CNN town hall later this week will give Bennet what’s likely to be his best shot at a national introduction.
We aren’t the ones who rule conclusively when the fabled “window” opens and closes in a presidential race, but this is a process that will work itself out through the summer and fall. On the other side, our local contenders will either have pulled off the legendary Broncos “revenge tour,” or ended up like the Rockies in…well, most years.
But as seems to be the rule in crowded primaries near and far–you can’t win if you don’t play.