This many people haven't been on one stage since Arcade Fire's Saturday Night Live performance.
So far, 12 candidates have made the October Democratic debates, and it looks like that'll remain the total by the time the Oct. 1 qualifying deadline hits. But despite a generally accepted 10-candidates-per-stage limit, CNN and The New York Times will shove all those qualifiers on one stage, the Democratic National Committee said Friday.
The 2020 Democratic field has been packed since day one, and in an attempt to control it a bit, the DNC limited its July and August debates to 20 candidates split into two nights. Things substantially narrowed in September when the DNC increased its donor and polling requirements to get on the stage, leaving 10 candidates behind. But with those standards unchanged for October, another two candidates — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) and billionaire Tom Steyer — have snuck on the stage.
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The 12-candidate spread is still "pending a final decision after the candidate deadline," the DNC told campaigns on Friday. But the committee and the media organizations hosting the event are both hoping to keep it to one night to "expand viewership," a DNC official tells CNN. In other words, two nights of debates are exhausting for everyone involved.
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