It’s Official: September Democratic Debate Will Be One Night Only – The New York Times

Some lesser-known candidates have criticized the donor requirement, too, arguing that it creates an incentive to focus on fund-raising rather than voter outreach. It seems, though, that 130,000 donors was actually an easier bar to clear than 2 percent support in four polls.

Four candidates — Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Steyer, the self-help author Marianne Williamson and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, who ended his campaign last week — met the donor threshold but not the polling threshold. Nobody, by contrast, met the polling threshold without meeting the donor threshold.

Mr. Steyer got three of the four polls he needed, but failed to reach 2 percent support in either of the polls released Wednesday morning. Ms. Gabbard hit that mark in two polls, and Ms. Williamson in one.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who ended her campaign on Wednesday, and former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who also dropped out recently and is now running for Senate, were the only other candidates to reach 2 percent in a qualifying poll.

Mr. Steyer, Ms. Gabbard and others who didn’t make the cut for September could still qualify for the fourth debate, which will be held in October. They have until two weeks before that debate — whose date hasn’t been announced yet — to meet the current criteria. (After that, the D.N.C. may raise the qualifications bar yet again.)

So don’t get too excited about the one-night format. The second night will probably be back a month later.

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.

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