January 31, 2020
The Democratic National Committee announced significant changes to the qualifying requirements for the party's February 19 debate in Las Vegas. Gone is the fundraising requirement, which opens the door to participation by Mike Bloomberg. The former NYC mayor is self-funding his campaign, and is not accepting contributions from individual donors.
There are three different ways to qualify for the Nevada debate, which comes three days before that state's caucuses:
- A minimum of 10% support in four national or remaining early state polls from accredited pollsters. Early state polls include those from Nevada and South Carolina (Feb. 29 primary).
- A minimum of 12% support from some combination of two Nevada or South Carolina polls.
- Earn at least one pledged delegate in Iowa (Feb. 3 caucus) or New Hampshire (Feb. 11 primary).
To qualify, polls must be from DNC-accredited pollsters and released between January 15 and February 18. The only candidates that have qualified thus far are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Bloomberg is not participating in contests prior to Super Tuesday (March 3). His avenue to the stage in Nevada is predicated on meeting the 10%/4 poll criteria. He has one such poll thus far.
The next debate will take place February 7 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Seven candidates have qualified for that. That debate will be broadcast on ABC, in partnership with its local affiliate WMUR-TV and Apple News.