A ninth Democrat has qualified for the third round of presidential debates, bringing us closer to another two-night affair.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang on Thursday became the latest Democratic candidate for president to qualify for the September debate following the release of a Monmouth University Iowa poll in which he has two percent support, The New York Times reports. Yang previously had the 130,000 individual donors needed for the September debate's qualification threshold, which is stricter than that of the previous two debates, and he has now met the requirement of two percent support in four polls as well.
This means the September debate will include at least the following nine candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, and Yang. As the Times points out, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is close to qualifying; he has enough donors and now needs to reach two percent support in one more qualifying poll. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) also has surpassed the 130,000 individual donor requirement, The Washington Examiner reports.
While the first two rounds of debates took place over two nights because there were so many candidates, it was thought raising the qualifying threshold for the September debate might cut the field down enough for only one night to be required. The New York Times previously reported that this September debate would take place on a single night should 10 candidates or fewer qualify. Were Castro and Gabbard to both squeeze in, there would be 11 candidates.
The Democratic National Committee also recently gave candidates even longer to qualify for the October debate, leaving open the possibility that the debate field will actually grow larger after September. The deadline to qualify for the September debate is Aug. 28.